It was our first time to the DR or the Caribbean for that matter. My boyfriend & I stayed here for a week in July and we had a wonderful time! The weather was beautiful, sunny, blue skies (it only rained a couple days, but only for about 10 minutes or so). The water was gorgeous, almost turquoise and warm to swim and snorkel in. There were a lot of reviews about the seaweed in the water and on the beach. It really wasn't a big deal. Some days there was more than others, but it was more like sea grass, not seaweed.
The room was nice, just like the pictures posted in other reviews. We were on the 1st floor close to the plaza and front building. There wasn't any excessive noise from music playing at night. It made it actually convenient to go to the bar and the plaza for drinks and also to go next door to their sister resort Now Larimar. The nice thing about Secrets RB is it's adult-only, that's why we booked here and next door was mostly families. We could venture to their side, but they couldn't come to our side. That was cool. What I thought was strange, was that on the Secrets side, the bar closed at midnight, but on the Now side they have a casino and a night club that stay open till about 2/3 am. I guess they want the Secrets side to stay more upscale.
We mostly went down to the beach every day. We didn't go in the lazy river/pool at all. The beach was great! Either on the palm side or the palapa side, was all nice. Some days we didn't go to the beach till later in the afternoon and we didn't have trouble finding a lounge chair. If you want a palapa though, I would suggest going down early and putting your towels under the one you want. Some of them need to be cut back as laying under them you can't see the beach. Everyday they have activities on the beach, such as volleyball and dance lessons. You should get a flyer in your room with all the activities for the next day.
Another thing we enjoyed was the people who work at both resorts. They are great people and although we had a little trouble with the language barrier we did OK. They spoke a little English and we spoke a little Spanish. They actually taught us some words, so that was cool. We got to know a lot of the cocktail waitresses & bartenders, to name a few, Heydi, Ana, Justina (bartender @ casino), Willy (@ the beach bar), Andres 3000. Great people - talk to them, learn their stories, and make some new friends. I did read a lot of reviews on bringing the maids presents, so your room would be clean, but I ended up giving a lot to the people we met and talked to everyday. We did also tip a little bit, a $1 here, $1 there. I think at the most we tipped maybe $5 to someone. We didn't spend an enormous amount on tipping. The staff does work 12 days on, 3 days off & most of them live 3-4 hours away from the resort. I wish I could keep in contact with them as they were such nice people, but they don't have internet/email. Everyone is super friendly and they will say "hola" passing you & ask how you are doing, when they reply, they always say "Excellente!"
The only downside is our room wasn't consistent on when it was cleaned. There was maybe 2 days in a row where they either didn't come or they came really late, like past 8pm to clean it. We did complain and they compensated us with a Cabana for the day on the beach. That was really nice.
We would definitely go again. It was a nice getaway and very relaxing. Service was great, food so-so, and scenery was awesome!
**TIPS: Definitely bring high SPF sunscreen, you will get burnt. Also, mosquito repellant w/ deet (they have stronger mosquitoes there that if you don't have the strong stuff you will get bit). We had to buy some while we were there because our spray wasn't working, and it was $14. Another good tip is to bring a spray bottle, fill it with bottled water and use it to cool you down on the beach. Helped out a lot because it was really hot. Bring Pepto & Tums. Bring some Aloe.
Women - dresses! I wore a dress every single day we were there. Day or night, it feels a lot cooler than to be constricted with capris or shorts for that matter.
Men – we saw some guys dressed in shorts and sandals at dinner, but others were dressed up. My BF wore khakis & a button down shirt for dinner.
The buffets were casual, shorts, sandals; cover-ups for women, flip-flops all were appropriate. We actually went to a lot of these, as we didn’t want to get dressed up.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally situated on the picturesque palm-studded, sugar white Playa Bavaro beach on the eastern coastline of the Dominican Republic, Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana offers adults all the privileges of Unlimited-Luxury(R). Guests will immediately be embraced within an extraordinary environment where luxury illuminates every detail and our high level of personal service is unmatched. To ensure your romantic escape is everything you've imagined, every detail of your stay will be flawlessly provided and superbly attended to. From the fine quality linens to the daily refreshed mini bar and the unlimited premium brand beverages to the pool and beach wait service. You'll be immersed within a world of stunning architectural design coupled with resplendent views of the lush gardens, crystal-clear Caribbean Sea and dazzling swimming pools. This tranquil, romantic haven in Playa Bavaro is like nothing else you've ever experienced before. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Secrets Royal Beach Hotel Punta Cana