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“Fantastic Family Hotel”

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The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real
Ranked #4 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Fantastic Family Hotel”
Reviewed 25 December 2013

My wife and I just returned from a 5-night trip to The Reserve at Palma Real with our 20-month son. The hotel and staff are fantastic! It is perfectly geared towards families & couples looking to relax and indulge. Tipping goes along way at this resort. We noticed many people did not tip and it made us cringe. The staff tries very hard at what I assume is minimal wage, so please spare a few dollars and tip for service, drinks, etc. Here are the positives & negatives:

Positives:
1. Fantastic grounds, big rooms, clean, great pools, tons of space to lay near pool or privately and never hard to get a private hut. Because there is both a living space (couches & tv) that is separate from the bedroom, this resort is a MUST BOOK for families with children that don't want to go to bed at 8pm and don't want a babysitter every night.
2. Much better food than expected. You can certainly tell the food is all-inclusive quality, but it's the top of the line all inclusive food that money can buy. Great steak, top shelf drinks, and more. I can't remember tasting anything that I didn't like.
3. Great service all around. Friendly and attentive waitstaff, bartenders, management, etc. We didn't encounter 1 rude person. Rooms were made up everyday and restocked with food and drink.
4. Easy access to beach. About a 4-5 minute golf card ride from Reserve to Gabi beach. Never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a golf cart (most times they were already waiting for you). Gabi Beach is very nice and special pool for Reserve guests.
5. Kids Zone was fantastic. Our 20-month son kept asking everyday to drop him with the toys. The entire staff was extremely friendly, called him by his name, and played with him. The kids pool was also fun with many activities and toys. They also have kids sand toys at the beach. Our son loved that.
6. Spa was great and you can use the facilities even if you don't get a massage. Wife got massage from Yitaly and she was awesome.
7. We didn't have any mosquitos

Negatives:
1. Dinner reservations are a problem. We were told numerous times that 6:30 or 7 wasn't available and we had to book 6pm, but then there was hardly anyone in the restaurant. Why make your guests eat earlier than they have to for no apparent reason? Management should fix this.
2. The pools were not perfect. They were too cold (83 degrees out and still hard to get in) and also very deep. My wife that is 5'3" couldn't stand comfortably in the normal parts of the pool.
3. Beach was very windy. Not sure if it was abnormal for this time of year.

Room Tip: I don't think family concierge or upgrading to private garden is necessary. Each basic room alr...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank warrenal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 December 2013

We just returned from a 5 night stay at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real. It was a stunning resort that felt small and intimate. This trip was our first all inclusive and so was a bit of trial and error. Here are our general impressions of the resort, staff and amenities:

1.) Rooms and resort set up: The room we had was wonderful, clean and spacious. We got an upgrade to the family concierge, but managed to end up with an additional upgrade to a private patio as well which we did not expect. The rooms were well maintained as was the entirety of the property. It was beautiful and clean! We loved the open spaciousness and yet the intimate small resort feel. Our room had two jacuzzi tubs and so much space. It was immaculate. The restaurants were all terrific, food was really good.

2.) Staff; The staff was in general very nice and always said "hola" and "it is my pleasure." They are clearly well trained. There were some standouts:

Julian at the Hydro Bar/main pool was the star of our trip. He was eternally smiling and wonderful. He was gracious and lovely. I hope he gets something extra for this review because he really made our trip special and gave us a reason to really enjoy our time at the resort.

Luis the chef at Mizu was terrific and funny and actually got my 10 year old to eat fish and steak. He was a kick! The food was wonderful… our favorite the whole trip.

Mateo who was our waiter the first night at Gabi Beach (REALLY good food) and at Mole the last night. He was really a great guy, remembered us and treated us wonderfully.

Edward Peguero/Carlos Peña the activities guys were hilarious, engaging and always in a great mood. They had a magical way of getting people up to do things and were always in bright lights.

Marina in the Family Concierge who helped me coordinate things from afar via email. She was super helpful.

The women who worked in the Kids Zone were AMAZING!! They were wonderful in treating our kids special, remembering who they were each time and just simply great. The Kids Zone was a major highlight of the resort for sure.. A great space and such a treat for our kids!!!


The cons (and there were several big ones):

1.) The family concierge program: it was a waste of our $600 dollars. While it was great for our kids to get the amenities (robes etc), much of what they had was way too young for the 8 and 10 years we have. We were given a phone to call our concierge, but the explanation of how to use it was in half English/ half Spanish and completely incomprehensible despite several attempts to do so. We would see that we got calls and were unable to get them or the messages. Additionally, our concierge did not follow up with us at all and many requests took several times of us seeking her out. We did not feel it was worth it for older kids. Having said that, our concierge,was lovely and our kids really liked her. She was very pleasant, but really did not do a lot except for helping one night when we went to dinner and left the kids at the Kids Zone. For little kids this might be a great program, but for older kids I'm not sure it was worth it. Despite what we thought, we were one of several families that our concierge was in charge of and since we didn't request a lot we felt like we were last choice on her list of things to do. We would not do it again.

2.) Club Melia parasites: Within 24 hours of arriving at the resort we were bombarded by one of the club melia parasites who would not leave us alone despite telling her that we DID NOT want to buy a time share or listen to their program. They constantly badgered us and really cast a pall on our vacation. This is unacceptable for a 3K / 5 night vacation. We should not be bothered and made us feel really icky. Additionally, there were many occasions where we felt like we were being watched: phone calls the minutes we walked in our room (for the only moment all day) or staff knowing about what we had done that day even though we'd never seen them before. It made us a very uncomfortable, again not acceptable.

3.) The restaurants we wanted to go to did not open until 7:00 p.m. but the kids zone closed at 8:00 so we were unable to leave our kids there and eat at certain restaurants including Passion. This was a major disappointment.

4.) There is NO WAY to get change at this resort unless you beg the bartenders or waiters and they seem miffed to help. We wanted to tip frequently but did not have as many 1$ and 5$ bills as we needed. Trying to get change was like trying to get water in the desert. This is a big problem for the staff and for the guests who wish to treat them well. IT MUST BE REMEDIED!!

5.) Wifi was a joke. Horrible. Unreliable and advertised as available. We basically were incommunicado while we were there b/c we were unable to get it despite being advertised as getting it in our rooms. 1/20 times we tried we'd get on line and then it would end instantly.

6.) The beach stunk. The water was pretty, but the sand was not really clean (lots of cigarette butts) and people asking for money or to sign up for excursions. Jesus who did the towels was lovely and wonderful, but we did not stay at the beach for those reasons and also because the wind made playing in the sand unbearable. We only swam at the pools which was a major bummer because we came because we heard the beach was great.



We loved the resort in theory, but in practice I'm not sure we'd return to it because there were some seriously major cons. It also turned us off from doing all inclusives because we are now convinced the main purpose of the resorts is to get people signed up for time shares.

We gave the resort a 7 because of these and because of the lack of a great beach. The overall rooms and food and pools and the special stand out staff listed here are reasons it rated so high.

Room Tip: Swim up rooms are available for adults and seemed great, the rooms were very very quiet and ask for...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank nancyyogi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Bridgewater, Massachusetts
1 review
Reviewed 24 December 2013

This review is kinda late - my wife and I went here June 11-18 2013. We booked through Jet Blue Vacation Packages at a expo; I frequently checked out the other prices of packages and we by far got the best price at the time. Upon arrival we began to check in and they offered/showed us swim up suite instead of our normal room for a price of course but after using some of the resort credits it wasn't bad and the room; OMG! what a fantastic room (4001). It was cleaned at least twice a day and the bar was restocked every time I turned my head. Throughout the week it was beyond excellent service; there was always something to do and when we needed some down time there were plenty of areas we could go to have to ourselves. We did a lot of excursions and spoke to others at different hotels; we really lucked out picking this one and cannot wait to go back. A special thanks to our concierge, Nuberto (sry if I butchered the spelling), he made us feel like we were the only ones in the world he cared about. And to our favorite bartender at the other connecting resort, Luis; what a fun guy is; full of personality and a blast to be around. Can't wait for next time; thinking 5yr anniversary.

Room Tip: Upgrade your room when you get there if possible, use resort credits again if possible - you're...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank dave02333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2013

This was our third trip to the Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real. The resort is beautiful and ascetically pleasing. While it is spread out, my partner and I didn’t mind the walking and believed the space led to plenty of quiet areas and seating. On this trip, we were extremely disappointed for several reasons.

We arrived at the hotel and spent an hour waiting to check in. We had requested a room with a king bed that faced west (if available). We walked three times to a room that had two beds. After the forth time (and a $10 bill) we finally got a king bed on the forth time (5323).

We laughed off the problems checking in, and ventured down to Gabi Beach for some sun and relaxation. In our past trips, we’ve found the Gabi Beach pool and beach area was very relaxing. We found an ideal spot and sat down to relax and read. We were offered drinks after several minutes and began to relax. I tipped the sever $5 and thanked him. It was the last time we was him for the day. The following day we went to Gabi Beach again. We ordered a water and drink. I figured tipping $10 may help get better service and kindness. Nope! In fact, as we walked off the beach the attendant whistled to us and pointed to our towels. Apparently, he was upset that we didn’t pick up our towels and carry them back to his table. I tried tipping $20 and ultimately $50 which did nothing to change the lack of service. If you want something, I would recommend just walking over to the Gabi Beach restaurant bar where you can get a good drink and see someone smile.

As far as the restaurants go, the food is consistent and very good. If you want reservations-good luck! You are assigned a concierge that is responsible for making your reservations and ensuring you get their time share pitch (they get 10 points for bringing us there). We spent hours trying to set up our reservations. The staff were attentive in trying to help you, but they try calling the number to either get a busy signal, hung up on, or no one answering. We sat at the front desk for 30-45 minutes three different times trying to set up the reservations with no luck. My recommendations to anyone going to Paradisus is to just avoid trying to make reservations and just go when you want to eat and tip the maitre de $5 or $10 and you’ll be seated within minutes.

Although we didn’t go to the spa this year, I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great spa experience. Make sure you give yourself plenty of extra time, as the pre-treatment is worth it to get yourself ready for the treatment. We would also recommend spending a relaxing evening by the Avenue Bar. The staff is excellent including Louis (who had previously worked at the bar at the reserve Aqua). This guy was a refreshing face who is always smiling and working hard to above and beyond for guests.

We couldn’t really tell why the service had declined so much this trip. I would say that I did not see any upper management walking around the hotel looking for feedback from guests and making sure everything is working smooth. The only time we saw managers is after I met with the hotel manager Sonia Francois. After speaking with her, there was people following us and watching us throughout our whole dinner at Mizu Hibachi at the Reserve. Everything went great until a staff member closed a door on my partner as we were leaving. I can’t say with 100% certainly that it was done on purpose, but just the fact that he didn’t look behind him and offer to hold the door made me livid beyond words! This all happened right in front of the restaurant manager and another manager (who we had never seen before) who had been watching us the entire time we ate our dinner.

The worse (or in hindsight best) is we had both discussed possible buying membership or timeshares at the resort before this trip. We felt comfortable and had really looked forward to this annual trip before Christmas each year. We had discussed having a ceremony on a future trip. We planned to invite family and friends on our next trip. I would warn same sex couples and others to avoid going here. Paradisus Palma Real Reserve has gone from a solid 4.5 star to a 3 and we will not be returning!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank bayvillehick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 December 2013

I attended a wedding here in May of 2013 so I had no choice in picking the hotel but made a vacation out of it anyway. Everything looks great on the website but there were so many sub-par aspects to this place.

It started with a 4 hour wait to check in. We requested before arrival that our rooms be near each other. My friends rooms were scattered haphazardly all over the giant resort which takes 20 minutes to walk from one side to the other. We were in a building that had construction going on in a parking lot looking place on the backside of the room which woke us up early everyday. Not relaxing.

The resort serves one beer, warm Presidente, all out of kegs, warm kegs. No options of another beer, no light, no dark, just skunky warm presidente. The liquor is horrible. The best brand of liquor at the pool bar is Jim Beam which is pathetic. Some in our party purchased better liquor from the shopping center across the street. There was always a line to get drinks. There was no poolside or beach service and you cannot eat or order anything either. You have to go to the cafeteria and have their glorified buffet which was not very good compared to other all-inclusives that I have been to. For $700 a night I expect more. Going to sit for lunch in wet bathing suits is no fun and walking 20 minutes to your room to change and then repeat the process after eating is a huge waste of time. The restaurants require reservations that are virtually impossible to get even when the restaurants are empty. The meal or two that we did have in the restaurants consisted of tough meat and poor quality ingredients. Even the food at the wedding and rehearsal dinner sucked. Nothing that I would cook at home or pay for at a restaurant.

As for the rooms they were nice but a few caveats: The door to the bathroom in our room was glass, as in see through glass, and it didn't extend to the floor but stopped a foot before the floor and is also open-air at the top. I have no idea what the point of the door was. The only separation between the bathroom and the rest of the room were some flimsy wooden shutters. The whole set up allowed for aromas and noises that you don't want to smell or hear in your room or your friend's rooms having cocktails. Waking my girlfriend up in the middle of the night because I need to take a leak is ridiculous, no sound barrier. Our room had a large hot tub type of bath, it didn't get used because we unfortunately didn't have any hot water, luke warm and fleeting at best.

Most of the water bottles in our mini-fridge had already been opened and then reused. Not sure where they fill them up or if they are sanitized but this seemed nuts to us.

I went diving one day and I have to say it might have been the worst dive site that I have ever seen.

i will say that the pools were all clean and nice and the grounds are well kept also. The beach is so-so.

I don't know if I will ever travel to another Melia Resorts hotel after this one

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank Cassidyrocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 December 2013

I stayed at this resort for 5 days with my 4 friends in room 3035 and I have never had this much fun in my Life. The beach was a beauty, the hoteL was verrry clean and perfecttt, the food was good (especiaLLy the Lobster at Gabi Beach Restaurant), the drinks were amazing at every bar (shout out to avenue bar bc of Roberto the bartender), and most of aLL the people/workers were suuper caring and nice. Shout out to Roberto Flores, Alexander Guzman, GeniveL Mauricio, Macdonna Francisco, Edward Campusano, Gregorin, and MigueL! Each and every one of these people (plus more) made our trip that much more FUN. Gave us a good time. :)

-Roberto was one of the bartenders at avenue beach and he was soo nice and made greatttt drinks! The way he did his Little shake to mix the drinks was HILARIOUS!
-Alex worked at the Palaza and was very caring and such a nice guy, thanks for Looking out for us Roberto and Alex! We had a great time with you guys! :)
-GENIVEL was our server at Gabi Beach and he was soo good at it. Recommended aLL the right foods to eat and made sure we were having a good time. We can teLL he was a verrry hard worker! He couldnt do enough for us. Verrry nice guy!!
Miss you guyss soooooooo much!! Can't stop thinking of Punta Cana!
-Macdonna was one of the entertainers at the beach/resort. He taught us how to dance anything we wanted to Learn! He's a greattt dancer.
- Edward and Gregorin were awesome. They were always willing to do anything for us at the buffet. Hard workers.
- MigueL walked us to our room the first day when we arrived and wouldn't accept our tip! He was soo nice and tried to explain everything we can do on the beach. Had great convos with this guy and was very helpful.

aLL in aLL this place was amazinggggg. The workers were awesomeee. ALL the workers were very cute too haha we Loved them! I couldnt believe how nice and caring EVERYONE was. Never had a bad experience. I reeeaLLy hope to go back sometime soon even if it's just to visit these workers, that's how great they were to us. I reaLLy miss everyone and wish you aLL a Merry Christmas!!

From, Jamie.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jaimie K K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 December 2013

I 'm a fan of Sol Melia hotel chain . More than 10 times I stayed in it Paradisus Cuba and the Dominican Republic .
Unfortunately my short stop at this new part of Paradisus Palma Real was not а Paradise!
Great Facility , architecture and design, have been spoiled by the human factor.
I was very unlucky with the room , because for 3 days in a row over my bedroom there was on a roof a repair which began at 08:00 (every morning) with loud knock.
But the worst thing is that they are painted on the roof every day and in my room (for 300 euros per night) it was not possible to breathe.
When I approached the reception I got a fantastic response - "do not worry, the smell of paint be driven away in the evening"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I highly recommend the management of the hotel to learn the experience of customer satisfaction in other hotels Paradisus .
Room number 4218 . Paint still smells)))
Alexey.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Alexey1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real

Property: The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real
Address: Playa de Bavaro, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#2 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real 5*
Number of rooms: 190
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Explore The Reserve, our new boutique resort within a resort, designed for those whose stay in a luxury suite is as important as sun, sea and sand. Including three pools and a la carte restaurants, YHI Spa and gym, Swim up Suites with direct access to the pool Family Concierge Suites. Take benefit of your stay at The Reserve and use its facilities and services as well as the ones in Paradisus Palma Real Resort. ... more   less 
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