Having paid £5000 ($8300), we went on the trip of a lifetime – our honeymoon, with high expectations. Although we had a great honeymoon, the Royal Suites Turquesa sadly failed to delivery in so many ways.
On arrival we had to fill out a very lengthy form, which seems all a bit unnecessary as they could have got all the information from our travel company (Thomson), most hotels seem to be able to check you in within a matter of a few minutes, but not the RST, the staff were unbearably slow (after a journey of over 10 hours, we just wanted to get to our room and freshen up). I had emailed about 4 weeks prior to arrival asking for a couple of special touches as a surprise for my new wife. I had asked if we could have a swim up room (which I was happy to pay the upgrade cost – this wasn’t an option when booking), petals on the bed and champagne in the room to toast our arrival. On check-in I was advised we had a swim up room, so was even more excited to get to the room.
We were shown to our room by our Butler (RST provide a more personal butler service, however a mixture of a bit of a language barrier and the fact she was rarely at her desk meant it was almost pointless). Sadly the butler lead us up the stairs, which of course meant we didn’t have a swim up room – very disappointed (they also didn’t put the petals on the bed and provide a bottle of Champagne in the room as they promised they would do). We went straight back to reception to try and resolve the problem, however they then informed me there was no availability for an upgrade, but to come back the following day at 9:30 and they’ll see what they can do (they seem to do this habitually, I don’t understand how they don’t know who will be in their hotel the following day). It wasn’t ideal as we couldn’t unpack and get comfortable in our room, but really wanted the swim up.
We went to reception the following day at 9:30 but they said come back at 11. So we went back again at 11, was told there was no availability and we should come back the next day, we decided to give up on the upgrade at this point.
During our second day we discovered half the hotel was undergoing renovations, with the main pool closed. The building works taking place during this time were also incredibly loud with almost constant banging and angle grinding going on all day which made the sitting in the beach not a very relaxing experience. We weren’t informed about these renovations and removal of facilities prior to our arrival or during check in, which is extremely poor. We complained to the Thomson Rep at the resort and were given a room upgrade (not a swim up though). We accepted the upgrade but were most frustrated as complaining and the farcical way they went about switching over our rooms meant we lost almost a full day of our holiday. Had we been informed about these works before we arrived, there is no way we would have stayed at this hotel. They are apparently going on for 6 months, so if you’re planning on traveling before February 2015, bare this in mind, the noise is terrible, not to mention the open trenches and holes that were all over the resort as part of these works, which were extremely dangerous.
Other things of note, the food wasn’t too bad, not amazing, but better than some AI hotels I’ve travelled to before. The two exclusive A la carte restaurants are pretty good, Japanese was good fun, Spanish was pretty good Tapas. I had read good reviews of the steak restaurant on tripadvisor, but on our visits the service was appalling, but worst of all on both occasions I had ordered a rare steak, it turned up at the table almost stone cold.
The food in the buffet restaurants was all cold, they seemed to have no suitable way of keeping the pre-cooked food warm.
Both my wife and myself suffered from food poisoning or a viral stomach bug resulting in us feeling very unwell for a couple of days. We were advised by the rep to see the doctor, but they wanted to charge $135 for just an appointment!
Most of the staff at the RST are quite rude and surly, a few were good, but not many. If you tipped well, then they would be a bit more friendly (in my world, I tip when I receive good service, I don’t tip to receive some kind of service).
There are a couple of shops on site, however these are nothing short of daylight robbery, how they can justify $12 for a bag of crisps or $5 for a bar of Hershey’s is beyond me. Steer well clear of the shop, however they did a roaring trade on the anti-diarrhoea drugs though. There is a free bus service to a local shopping centre where you can buy supplies though. There is also a little town with quite a few shops just down the beach, they are very pushy but were quite polite so all good fun really.
Every time you walk near the Spa, be prepared to be hassled and hounded by the staff to get you in and charge obscene amounts for the privilege.
Our rooms were in the middle floor, try to get a top floor room as the sound from people walking around their room upstairs is very loud, especially when you’re lucky enough to have people above who were walking up and down until about 1:30 am (constantly for hours), then starting the thumping with their feet at about 6 in the morning – not making for a very relaxing experience.
The hotel is quite run down, most of the buildings are showing signs of crumbling (even on the so called ‘new’ part of the hotel), the pool is missing hundreds of tiles and many more coming off daily, these are sharp and extremely dangerous. The grounds are well kept though and the gardens very nice.
In our room, it was hit and miss whether we had hot water or not. We did have a very smart shower which water jets and steam functions, but sadly the water pressure was so bad that they barely failed to deliver a trickle of water on our heads.
We didn’t drink any alcohol in the room, but the soft drinks in the fridge were only filled every couple of days.
The toilets at the beach also regularly didn’t have water and on more than on occasion, excrement was all over the toilets (I’m not sure whether this was cause or effect of the bursts of diarrhoea that seemed to be doing their rounds).
The areas around the pools were also very dirty, tables weren’t wiped and glasses not cleared away.
A couple we had become friendly with had an iPhone stolen from their room, however the hotel completely failed to take any action about this incident, indeed they appeared to be more obstructive rather than helpful.
All in all, a pretty damn terrible hotel/building site. So disappointing and very upsetting, they failed time and time again to deliver a good service, all I can say, is please don’t go.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Suites Turquesa is an exclusive VIP area of 140 luxurious rooms located within the Grand Palladium Resort in Punta Cana. Featuring private facilities and personalized 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