We stayed at Secrets Royal Beach for our 1st wedding anniversary in late Feb/early March 2014. We booked this resort because we were looking for great weather, all inclusive with lots of restaurants and adults only and we wanted a quiet relaxing holiday.
First impressions - reception is really nice, however check in seemed a bit chaotic. We were given a cold towel and a glass of champagne on check in, and then the minute we left reception, champagne in hand, to find our room we were collared by a waitress and made to pour our champagne into disposable plastic cups, which detracted from a luxury a little!
The room was very large and spotlessly clean. The only issue was that there was some black mold around the bottom of our shower. This was a real shame as it spoilt an otherwise perfect hotel room.
Our first day at the pool it was a mission to get a sunbed in a decent location. We soon learnt that you have to get down to the pool before 8am (about 7:45am!) to leave towels on sunbeds with umbrellas. There just were not enough sunbeds, they need far more around the lazy river. The sunbeds were also all really close together.
The pool waiters/waitresses were fantastic and you literally are never without a drink. A shout out to Vanesa at the pool bar, she was absolutely fantastic, and also Alberto and Angel who were wonderful.
The pool looked lovely, and the lazy river was wonderful, but now for my biggest issue about this resort - the entertainment. We're a professional couple in our late 20s, we go on holiday to relax - we don't like loud, cheesy entertainment. So at around 3:15pm every day the tranquility around the pool would be broken with the entertainment team coming out to dance to the worst theme tune you've ever heard, followed usually by loud pumping dance music for some kind of game or aqua aerobics. I have no issue with putting on entertainment as a lot of people like that kind of thing, but you just can't escape it - purposely positioned ourselves away from the main pool on the lazy river but it's just SO LOUD it's ridiculous and it really annoyed us.
Was ok. Sea is not crytal clear as it's Atlantic Ocean and therefore windy, which churns up sand from the bottom. We found the beach really crowded and again, to get a sunbed under an umbrella you had to be out to put your towels down by 8am. This was so irritating!!
The Riveria buffet was generally really good, with lots of options.
The beach grill was great - it's basically a BBQ on the beach every day
Oceania - seafood/fish - we weren't blown away
Gohan - sushi - we really liked it!
Seaside Grill - loved it, steaks were great
And the great thing about this resort is you can also go to the resort next door (Now Larimar) but they can't come to Secrets so you get access to lots of other restaurants...
Tamarindo - mexican - loved it!
Spice - asian - you need to make a reservation at guest services to get a table on the show table. Loved it!
Bluewater Grill - american - loved it!
Overall food was really fantastic. A tip for you though. In the restaurants they will give you a wine list with prices for wine by the bottle. You can just ask for glasses of house wine as included within the all inclusive package rather than buying bottles.
This is the downer. No bar on the beach or by the sea in the evening. In the evenings there's only the lobby bar or the outside area immediately outside the lobby bar and again, if you want a drink in the evening you can't escape the entertainment. I don't want to be harrassed to dance with members of the entertainment team, I want to sit and have a nice drink talking to my husband! The entertainment was very loud, overbearing and cheesy.
In general the staff were wonderful and very hardworking. You rarely have an empty glass! However, the entertainment team would regularly come round and try and talk to everyone - if we've positioned ourselves as far away from the main pool as possible to get peace and quiet, we don't want the entertainment team to keep coming to try and talk to us and get us involved in activities.They seem absolutely desperate to get good Tripadvisor reviews (you get the sense they're actually targeted on it) and I heard them several times practically begging people to give them "excellente" reviews. The irony is, had we just have been left alone to enjoy our holiday we probably would have given a much better review!
We didn't feel obligated to tip, and felt that whether we tipped or not we would get the same level of service. Our rep advised us that tipping a dollar or two here and there was perfectly appropriate if we wanted to. So we tended to tip a dollar a day for housekeeping, a couple of dollars after each restaurant meal (except the buffet) and we gave a dollar here and there to the pool waiters who bought us drinks, but we didn't tip every time. Reception were great for changing larger notes into dollars for us. (American dollars is best, you don't need Dominican pesos)
A beautiful resort, well-maintained, amazing food, great service. But would we go back? No. The entertainment was just too loud and over-bearing and you couldn't escape it. It's such a shame.
- 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