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“Nice resort, but you're paying more to be farther form the beach”

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The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real
Ranked #3 of 114 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 14 January 2014

- nice resort, but you're paying more to be farther form the beach, not sure how that came about...
- staff is nice and friendly, but unprofessional, they're never there when you need them, expect tips for EVERY single thing they do and don't know the most basic drinks (i.e. margaritas, mudslides etc)
- transportation between The Reserve and the beach is about 5-7 minutes PLUS 20 minutes that you spend waiting for the golf cart
- the resort is advertised as family friendly, however, there are no elevators and tons of stairs; ground-level suites have terraces that are not fenced in and the pool is right at the end of the terrace;
- there seems to be a shortage of towels at the beach, if you arrive around noon or later, don't expect any (we were told that people 'take too many'... very professional...)
- very limited selection of breakfast items is served at The Reserve buffet as opposed to the buffet at Palma Real (doesn't make sense to me that I'm paying more to be under-served)
- babysitters at the Kidz Zone don't feel that they need to be in the play area even when there are kids under their care there at the moment
- dinners are 'extremely' hard to book, since 'everything is filled', yet when you go to any restaurant at any given time in the evening you'll see lots of available tables

Overall, it's a nice resort that's being terribly mis-managed. There is a lot of room for improvement and hopefully the management reviews their problem areas.

Room Tip: ground floor if just adults or with older kids, 2nd or 3rd floors if with small kids, but be prepare...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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7  Thank Naty21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,230 - 4,236 of 7,673 reviews

Reviewed 14 January 2014

Overall,The Reserve was an amazing place to unplug and relax. My Wife and I really needed to relax and weren't interested in doing much else on this trip. We arrived quite stressed and left very peaceful and relaxed. If you like activities, there's plenty to get into there!

ALERT: The airport was a bit sketchy. After being asked for an additional form which we were told we needed, the Imigration "Officer" gave us one and as I filled it out he whispered to me "If you each give me $5.00, you don't have to fill that out." I told him i would rather fill it out at which point he grabbed it from me and asked me my last name and where I was from then basically tossed it behind his desk. There are many pushy guys to dodge asking about transportation and telling you to "come here" and "wait-a-minute"
We grabbed a cab to the resort outside and it cost $30.00 for a private ride for 2. I think $40.00 was the going rate but I negotiated en Espanol. BTW, If you can speak spanish well, do it, most people stopped bothering us at the airport after I spoke to them in Spanish.

Once we arrived,they had our names printed on a welcome board along with several others checking in that day.(nice touch)This was just the beginning of felling special there.
EVERYONE there is super friendly and willing to assist you in any way possible. This is a place where they think of many small details to make you feel special. You will hear "Its my pleasure" and "anything is possible here" many times during your stay.
Our Concierge for the week was Victor Medina and I REALLY can't say enough about him! He did a PERFECT job of making us feel like we were his only guests that week even though he had many. Seriously,Victor not only called us almost daily to see if we needed anything,he came to our table every night during Dinner at each of the Restaurants to check on us! Two of the nights we came back to our room to find flowers arranged all over our bed,a jacuzzi filled and topped with fresh flowers,a bottle of Champagne,chocolates and a note written to us from him. I can't express how cared for we felt by him all week. He should get a promotion, a raise or both! Being in the Service Industry, We REALLY appreciate superior service!
I wish I could thank each and every staff member by name because every one was excellent. There were definitely a few standouts:Ricardo the Bellman,Hector,Omar,Deivi,Julian and Virgilio at Gabi club and by the pool. These guys are genuinely friendly, happy and willing to help you in any way you wish.
We got friendly with Angel at Gabi and spoke to him many times during our stay. He was very helpful, warm, funny and hard working. He may be going to room service now so be on the lookout for him!
One of the big factors in chosing The Reserve was the reviews on the food there. I can honestly say, this was the best food we have ever eaten on vacation. There are many food options but be aware, you need reservations for dinner at all the restaurants except the buffets(one at the main resaort and one at Reserve) The quality of the food and artistic presentation at the buffets was surprisingly excellent and the a la cart dinners were even better. We could have eaten at Vento and Bana all week and been happy, they were just so awesome! At the main resort look for Carlos the Head Chef! He is a great guy and will have a neck scarf on to identify him.
The only "hiccups" we had were the service at the beach and some days around the pool was lacking. I dont mind getting up but we are used to Mexico where you have to pretty much send the guy away every 10-15 minutes. We had a day at the pool where we lounged for an hour and a half with no one in sight. Weird, considering how "on it" they are everwhere else in the resort. Also, you should be aware there were many small children and infants at all the restaurants even late at night. So, if you want a quiet dinner maybe ask for a table out of the way if possible. We had a few "less than peaceful" meals during the week. ;)
Also, the reason you read so many reviews on this place, including mine, is they REALLY push you to do one. The resort has blank business cards with they Tripadvisor info printed on the back. They write in their names so you can give them a shout out, which I'm happy to do.
To sum it up:
Resort=Very, very beautiful, large, clean and well maintained
People=Super nice and helpful, very accommodating
Food=Large variety of options with excellent preparation and execution
Value=good if you can afford it

We're already planning a trip back! I Hope the infomation helps...

Room Tip: There are really no bad rooms. They're all suites at The Reserve but you can pay more for a swim...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jefferson D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2014

This was our 10th trip to Punta Cana and the fifth year in a row to the Reserve at Palma Real. In a word this hotel is exceptional. My wife and I travel 15 to 20 weeks a year. In planning trips I use the reviews on Expedia and Trip Advisor extensively, but generally don't pay a lot of attention to those reviews that speak to the service provided. I expect service to be good especially at 4 or 5 star hotels. However the service we received at the Reserve last month was the best we have ever had starting with Lara and Jhoenny, the front desk manager and assistant manager. They are the best. Additionally the waiters, bellboys, spa personell, etc are all top notch. If you book a trip to Punta Cana stay at the Reserve...you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank michael e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rafael T, General Manager at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, responded to this reviewResponded 21 January 2014

Dear Michael,

It is good to know you felt we are the best hotel in the area. This definitely, it is a big honor.

I am very happy to know that you have received an excellent service from Lara, Jhoenny and the rest of the team.

I am sure this will be the fifth of uncountable great vacation at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real.

Kind regards,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director
Paradisus Resorts Punta Cana

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2014

We stayed here 10/12-10/19/2013 We really really enjoyed our stay. There were a few negatives and I will start wit them. Our rooms were not ready when we arrived but shortly later they were and our luggage never made it to the room.we had to chase it around a bit. The mosquitos in our private garden were viscous, but we brought bug spray. The tv stations were terrible and almost all in spanish (guess its to be expected). My masseuse cut my massage by 15 min which had me furious but it was fate when i got back to my husband and kid he was having a nervous breakdown and it was meant to be that i got back right then and there! Our room was really musty. They burned incense every afternoon to try and alleviate that. Family concierge phones are useless, they never work.The reservations at the restaurants were a little much as they are mostly empty and honestly dinner at the gabi buffet is the best way to go! Wifi was spotty in the rooms. OK That's it. I swear I had to nitpick to be brutally honest about anything that was less than stellar!!!! It was one of the best vacations I have ever been on. Immaculate grounds, beautiful rooms. Amazing staff. We had family concierge who spoiled our son and franciso on the beach made sure we had our cabana towels and drinks flowing. I cant wait to go back and I never like to go to a destination let alone a resort twice. THe kids zone staff is so amazing i would have actually trusted them alone with my child and I never leave him with anyone. food was REALLY good for an all inclusive. the shows are entertaining, the drinks are yummy and plentiful. Im getting depressed writing this .. I want to be back there right now. I miss you reserve and I promise we will be back!!!! I feel like i wrote more negative than positive but i swear when you experience the heaven this place is you would forget about any little things like that just as I did, but i do like to be COMPLETELY honest.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank latashanicole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2014

i'm a seasoned traveler who has not had any good all inclusive experiences except Crystal cruises. I am a Ritz Carlton Bora Bora type of traveller. My experince with all-inclusives is that usually everything is just average or below (food, service, rooms, amenities). However, my company had an outing at the Reserve and it blew me away. The service was fantastic with a very well trained staff who are friendly and looking to help in any way possible. The food was great with first class buffets and terriffic ala carte restaurants. The drinks were top shelf with no skimping and the bartenders served great made to order cocktails with top shelf liquor, fresh fruit,etc. The grounds and rooms were amazing with a Jacuzzi on each room's balcony. From the moment our host Victor Medina checked us in and made our group's dinner reservations we had a great time. I definitely will return to the Reserve.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank pburghjoev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2014

The Resort:
Well laid out, lots of quite pool side areas to lounge with family, servers will visit you pool side. Kid’s area is great with lots of cool actives for the kids (I have a 10 year old). The staff went out of their way to make you happy. I got a nug from my friend Nancy to do the family concierge; well worth the money! They chase you around to insure your dinner plans, actives and everything else went perfect. Every night we would find something special in our room and my kid was treated like a queen, sometimes I thought she was treated better than us; if she has a smile we had a smile. The room was well laid out with plenty of space to relax, 2 private Jacuzzi’s (1 inside and 1 outside).
The Food:
First let me tell you I frequent Sandals and Beaches and I’m a foodie. Always thought they had pretty good food for the islands, WOW was I wrong! The food here was great. I loved the Tai bistro but all the restaurants were very good, some of the best steaks in the Caribbean I have ever had.
Activities:
I’m a diver, don’t have your hopes high for great diving, go in with the mind frame “get wet have fun”. My wife and kid did parasailing and enjoyed it very much, we also did a boat ride to the national park with diving and snorkeling that was a lot of fun.

Room Tip: Get family concierge
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2014

We just got back from the Reserve a week ago and had a great time. We were traveling with a 10 yr old and a 12 yr old. The service is excellent. They go out of their way to make sure you are having a good time. We stayed in one of the family conceirge rooms which was a bit expensive but we decided at the end of the trip it was worth it. The reserve is quiet which we really appreciated but if the kids were looking for more action we could go to the Palma Real and use thier pools and beach. The Palma Real is a 3 minute golf cart ride and they are always willing to drive you when you want to go. We really enjoyed the exclusivity of the Reserve though. Every night we were surprised with the extra things they did. One night we got back to our room and there was a bottle of champaigne and rose pedals on the floor leading out to the outside jacuzzi which was full with water and rose pedals. Another night we got home and the jacuzzi was filled with balloons and bubbles - the kids loved it. To name a few of the people that went out of their way - At the restaurants Adenawer was our server a couple night and went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed our meals. At the pool Deivi Cueto went out of his way to get our chairs, offer drinks and even played ball with the kids. Carlos was one of the activity directors and taught the kids to play dominos and they loved it! Our family conceirge was Angel and he really made the trip. He took care of everything from beach chairs, dinner reservations, activites out of the resort, gifts in the room for us and the kids and travel back to the airport. We would absolutely return to this resort. The first couple days there they did try to get us to take a tour and have a timeshare conversation but once we firmly told them we were not interested we did not hear another word about it. Both the reserve and the Palma Real are beautiful.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank rachel k
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

Address: Playa de Bavaro, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection 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:
#2 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 Green Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £249 - £655 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real 5*
Number of rooms: 232
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A luxurious experience can only be achieved with services and facilities designed to provide guests with the highest possible degree of exclusivity and personalized service in a luxury all-inclusive resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Reserve At Paradisus Palma Real Hotel Punta Cana

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