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“The Reserve, Palma Real--Excellent.”

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The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real
Ranked #3 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 18 March 2014

We went for a family vacation, during President’s week school break (2/15-2/22) my husband, 7.5 year old daughter and myself.

We stayed in a swim-up room in the building 43. We could not book the swim up room online or over the phone because of our daughter, not sure at what age they will let you book it. But it was offered to us when we arrived and we took it! It was WONDERFUL. It was so nice to walk out onto our private patio with its own sun-benches and tiki hut. Right beyond the patio was a large crescent shaped pool that lazily meandered the length of 4 resort buildings, it also had several bubble-jet tubs (not hot tubs, just the jets). The downside of the swim up room is there is no way to lock your door from the outside. We took a chance and entered/exited all day, all week, from the unlocked door and it was fine—valuables/passports were locked in the room’s safe. Housekeeping did lock the door everyday so we had to make sure we had a key on us.

The room was nicely appointed, and pleasing to the eye. There’s a little fridge stocked with water and soda (no alcohol). A few bags of chips and coffee are also provided in the kitchen area. Housekeeping made up the living room couch into a bed for our daughter. They basically unfold the cushion so the bed is very low to the ground making it appropriate for very young children too. Beds were comfortable, a/c worked perfectly but we thought the rooms could use more light, they were a bit dark. Showers were rain-head type and though we were asked to let the hot water run for a minute it was not necessary.

If you want easier walking access to the main resort/beach stay in building 43 or 53. We found the walk to the main resort a nice one, about 5-8 minutes and never waited longer than 5-8 minutes for a golf cart to take us back and forth. The main lobby area of each building has an espresso machine, have a coffee while you wait.

When we booked the swim-up room at check-in we were assigned a concierge, Gabriel Bobodilla. At first we thought no, we already booked our restaurant reservations so what could/would he do? But if they want to assign him to us, ok. He was SOOOO helpful! We are total do-it-yourselfers and were blown away by this service. My daughter got a little mixed up walking around and before I even knew she was lost, Gabriel was walking her back to us. I left my camera at the KidZone and he brought it back to us. I made a mistake with our dinner reservation one night, Gabriel fixed it. The KidZone made a mistake and didn’t take my daughter to the beach painting activitiy—Gabriel fixed it!! He was so nice and friendly that even very private people like us warmed up to him right away. He would check on us once a day then leave us alone. When/if we needed him, he was only a phone call away. If you get a room with Concierge be sure to ask for Gabriel Bobodilla.

The room we originally booked did not come with a concierge and knowing that President’s week is a heavy travel week wanted to make sure we got the reservations we wanted so booked all our restaurant reservations before going down. They will take reservations 1 week before your scheduled arrival.

The food is very, very mediocre. The upside to that—you won’t gain a ton of weight! The breakfast buffet at Gabi Club in the Reserve was ok. The better lunch buffet is on the beach at Naos. The poolside lunch restaurant at the Reserve, Hydro, was bland food or fried food. Make sure you put on your shoes and a cover up before going to lunch—no bare feet or uncovered bathing suit bottoms on women/girls, boys need shirts at the restaurants. Mole (Mexican) was the best dinner. Bana was terrible! No matter what you ordered, you got it served fried with sweet/sour sauce. Every restaurant was missing the one thing we thought would be in abundance, grilled fish with some sort of sauce. Everything was very “American”. Passion was by far the best meal but not sure it was worth the $80 upcharge.

The grounds are lavishly planted. Incense burns in the lovely gardens planted in the open-air center of each building. Very cool, hip, European music is piped throughout. The resort is laid out in a way that it absorbs crowds and you feel like the place is 1/4 full when it’s 100% booked. When we arrived, the resort was at 95%, and later 100%, occupancy but it felt nearly empty to us; we camped out in one of the many private nooks to soak in the sun. My husband and I didn’t hear or see any crazy kids and enjoyed a peaceful quiet week despite the fact that this is a very family friendly resort. Even at 100% occupancy you didn’t have to run out at 7:30am to get your pool chairs. Sure there were some people who did, but there was still plenty of availability at 9:30-10:00. The chairs around the main pool were taken faster (people who need/want to watch their kids) so do get some towels on your chairs if there’s an absolute spot you must have. Others noted an issue with a lack of towels. In your room you will get a beach towel for each person in your party. There are more towels stocked around the pools, but they run out by early afternoon. Just ask housekeeping if you want/need more, they are happy to get them for you. Speaking of housekeeping, Wendy Doran took care of us and our room while we were there, what a lovely gal. Nice as can be and took very good care of us and our room.

Mosquitoes. Yes, they are there. It’s a tropical climate you have to expect them. We were not bothered by them except for the couple of mornings when it was rainy and we camped out reading in our little tiki hut.

Tipping. It is not expected but is appreciated. We tipped $1 (U.S) for each drink, $4-$5 (U.S) at our table after breakfast/lunch and $8-$10 (U.S.) after dinners. We loved our Concierge, Gabriel, and gave him a generous tip before we left.

Kid Zone was great. At check-in they give you a schedule of the week’s activities. My 7.5 year old daughter was sure it was “for babies” and not going. I talked her into trying one activity and she was hooked. The area where my husband and I camped out for sunning everyday was close enough that she could come/go as she pleased and she did. The staff seemed nice enough and the activities were varied. Painting, tennis, rock climbing, some sort of wired-up trampoline, pool games, scavenger hunts, the list just goes on and on. It’s air-conditioned and kids can just chill out and watch a movie, play video games or help themselves to the kid’s buffet—hot dogs, chicken nuggets, fruit salad, ice cream. They kidzone has its own little shallow pool with a few small slides.

The beach is really nice but loaded with seaweed. We did not notice any attempt to clean it up. The sand is soft and has a nice sandy color with bits of terra-cotta colored sand I have not seen anywhere else. There is a separate beach area for Reserve Guests that has many palm covered shades spaced out enough that you are not on top of each other. You will get one/two people from the hotel attempting to tell you about day excursions or spa treatments. But once they speak to you they do not bother you again. There are no peddlers on the beach. If you head toward the water and make a left and walk for a while you will come to some security guards who keep the peddlers off the Resorts’ beach. Where the security guards are, there are some women set up in the public beach access road that do braids. They are a bit pricey but will negotiate. My daughter with really long hair had her whole head done for $60.

Downsides: they know they have you and will charge you a FORTUNE for things like sunscreen. It was $30 U.S. for one, regular sized, bottle of sunscreen. There are no lifeguards at the pools Tipping the guys doing drink service around the pool will NOT get you better/faster service. I think the alcohol in drinks is weak—we were drinking daiquiri’s and rum punch all day with no effect. The house wines are ick, and you pay for any other wine you want. At some point will be asked once or twice if you want to attend the time-share presentation. They do put a little pressure on you but a polite, firm no will be taken. But it may be worth looking into on your private time. They have a lot of partner hotels across the world.
However, those are minor complaints—just bring your sunscreen. I would go back and recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: Request building 43 or 53 to be closer to the walking path to the beach.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank KrisHur
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 March 2014

Dear guest,

Your kind and valuable words left me speechless as there is not greater satisfaction than learning that all your expectations were exceed and that you will return in a near future.

The Reserve team is going to be more than glad to welcome you back for a next amazing family vacation.

Sincerely,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director
Paradisus Resorts Punta Cana

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4,011 - 4,017 of 7,498 reviews

Reviewed 18 March 2014 via mobile

Best vacation I ever had, I was there for 5 days and 4 nights. the services was amazing every single person the works there are so helpful, very nice I had no words to express the amazing treatment we had. I didn't wanna leave. The hotel is beautiful I stay in one of their suites. I definitely recommend that if your going to punta cana you need to stay at the reserve.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Jackie17365
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 March 2014

Dear Jackie,

Thank you for taking your time and sharing your high reviews regarding our services and especially about our Staff.

I am very proud of the team and it is always pleasing to receive such kind words as yours. We constantly endeavor to exceed our guest’s expectations of service and it is always rewarding to hear that these efforts are noticed.

We definitely would like to see you back so looking forward to your next visit at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real.

Sincerely,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director
Paradisus Resorts Punta Cana

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

Where do I start to rave about this resort? The service was professional, authentic and warm. The bar staff, waiters, housekeeping - everyone EXCEEDED expectations everyday with a huge smile! The food was delicious. The property was gorgeous. We stayed in the Family Concierge section of the Reserve (Milly - she is incredible). We had three families and seven children under the age of 6. Everyone had an unforgettable vacation. I highly recommend upgrading to Family Concierge, a true way to have a "vacation". They take care of everything! Milly arranged for us to have sitters at night. I had huge reservations about leaving my kids with strangers in a foreign country - Christina (our sitter) was wonderful with our kids. We wanted to bring her back home with us. Finally, the Kids Club (Natali, Ynes, Nicaurys, Franchesca, Francisca, Yira, Jennifer), was staffed with caring, engaged folks that all of the kids loved hanging out with. You don't want to miss the spa - gorgeous. You will not be disappointed with your choice to vacation here. We will go back!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank CTaylor2014
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 March 2014

Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing with us your excellent experience in our hotel. I want to tell you that comments like yours encourage all the staff to continue working hard every day to achieve maximum satisfaction of our guests.

I hope to welcome you back soon.

Sincerely,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director
Paradisus Resorts Punta Cana

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Reviewed 17 March 2014

We just returned from a fabulous trip to the Reserve. We have two girls aged 6 and 8 and we stayed in the Family Concierge section in a master suite. The suite was gorgeous and contained everything we needed - single beds for the girls, a master suite with enormous bathroom for us, children's amenities ( toothbrushes, shampoo, sunscreen, toothpaste, slippers and robes), a great deck with a hot tub. Our favourite part of this stay was our concierge Andy Constante. We all wanted to take Andy home with us! He took care of every detail of our stay - we did not have to lift a finger. Andy made all of our dining reservations, reserved our places at the pool and the beach (which was never crowded as the resort is so spacious with plenty of room for everyone even at full capacity), picked the girls up from their activities and brought them to us ( every family is given a phone for the duration of their stay), he left surprises for us and the girls in the room with hand written notes, took care of our departure and always checked in with us throughout the day to make sure that our needs were met.
We also would like to mention Emanuel, who brought our breakfast to our room every morning. He was always smiling and cheerful - a great way to start our day.
We couldn't get the girls out of the Kids Club. Natale and all of the staff there were amazing. The kids went on eco walks and fed the turtles, fish and flamingos, they did great arts and crafts and participated in rock climbing and trampolining.
The grounds of the resort are beautiful and immaculately kept. There is a wide variety of dining options and the food was very good! A special mention should be made to the wait staff at Passions, Bana, Miko and Aqua for their constant smiles and attention to detail.
We would highly recommend this resort to anyone wanted to just sit back and relax and do nothing!
Thanks again to Andy and the rest of the staff for making our trip so memorable!

Room Tip: Request a swim up room and a master suite if you have more than one child.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Heather A
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 March 2014

Dear Heather,

Thank you very much for having taken the time to share your experience at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real.

I am glad to see that you appreciated the excellent service provide by our team. Thank you so much once again, and we look forward to welcoming you back at your second home.

Sincerely,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director
Paradisus Resorts Punta Cana

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

We just returned from vacation and the memories will last for a long time. Let's start with the with the bad: The wifi was limited during our time. The only way that we were able to connect, was to sit in the lobby. Only other quasi-negative was the Club Melia presentation to try to sell you on buying into the vacation club. They will invite you to a "presentation." It is what you'd expect and somewhat annoying but Norberto was friendly and not aggressive in his approach

The good, everything else. First, if you have a family, pay the extra for the Family Concierge. It is totally worth it. We got a 1 bedroom suite and the room was fantastic. Great size, and the view off the balcony was amazing. It will be worth it even more if you get Yeferson, as your concierge. He is AMAZING. He took care of everything (beach cabana reservations, dinner reservations, confirming ground transportation, etc.) He checked in with us just enough during the day to make sure that we had everything that we need, without being too "in your face." The staff were all so friendly and always asked if there was anything to do to help. We have to mention a few who made our visit so terrific… Keren and Andry, hostesses who always greeted us warmly and took great care of us and Michel, the best bartender on the beach. Restaurant choices were plentiful and the food was great, even in the buffets.

We debated whether to stay at the main resort, or to stay at the Reserve. One thing that might annoy some people (it didn't bother us at all) is that the beach is a 7 minute walk (or a 2 minute golf cart ride) from the Reserve. This gets to the biggest difference, the noise. Because the Reserve is away from the beach, it is quieter at night. This was a huge bonus for us. We really enjoyed the quiet. We spent several nights reading on the patio in the evenings with a drink. The Reserve is also away from the hustle and bustle of the main resort. We liked the slower pace and the lower density of people (there are less rooms at the Reserve) The #2 ranking in the resort is well worth it.

We give the Reserve two big THUMBS UP!!!

Room Tip: Higher floors are quieter
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Marc W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2014

First of all, as much traveling as we have done as a family, this is the first time we have felt compelled to write a review. It is because we were treated so well by the resort staff, we just had to tell about it. The resort itself is magnificent enough to warrant a top notch review with its manicured landscaping, 5 star spa facility, great restaurants (loved Gabi Beach, Hydro Grill, Vento, Palazzo), beautiful pools, spectacular beach, etc. But in particular, our vacation was made special by our hard working family concierge, Yefferson Nunez, who not only went out of his way to help us, he did it in a way we will never forget. Whether it was coordinating our dinner reservations nightly, arranging for our 9 year old son to attend the Kid's Zone activities, reserving a tee time at the nearby Cocotel Golf Club or scheduling a snorkeling excursion for our family, he did everything with understanding and a calm demeanor you can't describe. We loved how he paid such close attention to details to make our stay very special. Our family enjoyed all the treats and surprises he left the kids each night. It says everything that we are talking about a person making our trip memorable even more than the resort itself.

Room Tip: Definitely worth the upgrade to the one bedroom master suite if you have 2 kids
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Sue C
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 March 2014

Dear Sue,

Thank you very much for sharing your comments with us on Tripadvisor. I am happy to read that we were able to offer an overall pleasant experience and that you appreciated the great staff.

I sincerely hope to have the chance to welcome you back soon at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real.

Best regards,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director
Paradisus Resorts Punta Cana

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Reviewed 15 March 2014

We really enjoyed our stay at the Reserve property at the Paradisus Palma Real. The one bedroom suite was clean, functional and perfectly sized for my wife and I along with our two children. Our assigned concierge, Noberto, was fantastic and always found a way to get us the reservation we wanted. Aqua and Vento were our favorite restaurants but the food in general was good......even for our New York palates! And as far as the pool bar, we can't say enough about Ramon Fuego. Though he impressed us with his mixology talents and exceptional service, he also was also great with our two 6 yr old "chiquitos" and gave them a level of comfort from day 1 that set them up for an awesome week at the pool (with Pineapple smoothies).

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank SuzerB
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 March 2014

Dear guest,

Thank you so much for your very kind words reviewing your recent stay at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real.

I am so pleased that you to share your experience. Furthermore I am absolutely delighted to read how much you enjoyed the service provided. It will be my pleasure to share your positive comment with my entire team.

We hope to be able to welcome you back at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real.

Best 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
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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:
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 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £269 - £799 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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Also Known As:
The Reserve At Paradisus Palma Real Hotel Punta Cana

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