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“Wedding at the Palace!”

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Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino
Ranked #18 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 4 February 2009

I was recently married at the Grand Palladium set of resorts. We stayed at the Grand Palladium Palace, though the ceremony takes place in a lovely gazebo at the Grand Palladium Bavaro. We stayed our second week in the Royal Suites.

Honestly, if I'd known the layout of the resort, I'd have booked differently. There are 3 resorts side by side with no definite division between. One flows into the next. The only real giveaway is that every once in a while you stumble across another beautiful lobby. If you're waffling on where to stay - The Grand Palladium Palace, Bavaro, or Punta Cana - take the cheapest one. They're all the same in the end. The rooms might be slightly different layouts, but you have access to all 3 from all 3. The Bavaro resort seems to have the closest proximity to the evening stuff - a la cartes, the disco, the theatres. There is also a 4th resort in the family. The Royal Suites. This one's the private one. It's got a private beach area (with beds!) a private and less rambunctious pool and pool bar, and it's own a la carte/buffet.

We had 20 friends and family with us the first week, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that they all had a fantastic experience. We had some first time travelers and they were talking about "next time" before they left. There's so much to do and see at these resorts, that nobody was ever bored. We're creatures of habit, so we could always find each other in the same area on the beach or on the same side of the pool.I'll try to arrange my review so it's not overwhelming, but still informative.


Pool Activities: The animation staff was hilarious - I think the only english slang they know is "Oh my God, Wow!" and we hear it several times a day. There's always some contest or another going on by the pool - Water aerobics, pool volleyball, merengue lessons. You won't be bored, but if you want to block it out, you can usually get far enough away to get into a good book. We spent most of our time at the Palace pool, but only because of proximity. All 3 resorts have a large pool and swim up bar.


Food: The buffets were really good. Each night had a different nationality theme. (Japanese night was the best one!) Compared to buffets I've eaten at in the past where the food was bland and lukewarm, these buffets offered lots of tasty, piping hot food. There were also options to have things "fresh made" for you - omelets and crepes at breakfast, various pastas at lunch, hamburgers and different meats at supper.

The a la cartes were also very good. You don't have to make reservations for these anymore - it's first come first serve. They have a beeper system set up so that if you're facing a long wait, you can spend it in the lobby listening to live entertainment and drinking Coco Loco's. The Bamboo was the best for taste, but the Brazilian one was a fantastic experience to have.


Beach: It's crowded. That's not a bad thing, but it influenced our plans for a beach wedding. It's crawling with all sorts of people, who aren't afraid to get into your wedding photos. It's a beautiful beach and there were always enough chairs to be had. Sometimes you had to scout around a bit, but they were there. The sand is soft and the water is beautiful. I was surprised at the constant waves on the beach. The water was always rough and the wind was always blowing. There were all sorts of sticks and leaves and seaweed being washed up onto the shore and washed back out again. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, but I think Cuba had a nicer beach and clearer water.


Entertainment: There are two theatres for the nightly entertainment. One in a central location, and one out in the Bavaro resort (next to most of the a la cartes.) The shows were a lot of fun - Michael Jackson impersonaters, comedy improv, dance shows. The only complaint I have is that The Merengue theatre always seemed too loud. There's also a disco on the resort (at the Bavaro end again!) with loud music and strobe lights if you feel the need to shake your money maker.


The Train!! We loved the train. The driver in the backwards Mountain Dew cap drove it the best. It runs in a continuous circuit through the three resorts, and there's two trains running at night. I'd suggest getting on the train the first day you're there. It's the best way to get familiar with the resorts and to see what's available to you. Also, the music on the train kicks [--]. If you want a cd, start asking bartenders. They'll eventually find someone who can hook you up.


Excursions: We did a lot of excursions on this trip, partly in an attempt to keep everyone busy and happy.

We did the Bavaro Runners cultural tour first. It was fantastic. Eddie was our guide - he was so informative. We saw sugar cane, a school, a cigar rolling demo, had lunch in the jungle, saw a typical home, learned about coffee and cacao... the list goes on. It's a full day trip, but it's worth every penny and then some.

We also went snorkelling - I found it too crowded to actually get a good look at the fish. Take the flippers if they offer them to you. If you don't, you'll be slower than the rest and will constantly be kicked in the head by the faster people in front of you :)

Deep sea fishing was a bust - they had fun, but only caught one fish. Not the resort's or the company's fault. That's just how fishing is.

Zip Line Adventures was super fun, but a hell of a workout. You have to climb up in order to zip down. 10 lines in all, the longest measuring 250m. It was fantastic.


Now, The Wedding: Choosing a destination wedding doesn't mean that it's a stress free wedding. It's just different stress. We had a lot of trouble communicating with wedding planner at the resort while we were still at home. Emails got lost, things got overlooked, plans got changed. All I can say is - persevere. I was dreading meeting with the coordinator. I was so wrong! She was such a sweetheart and was so accommodating once we were at the resort. I ordered my flowers "off menu" and they were perfect. I had a raging head cold and she took me to the pharmacy and translated the labels for me so I could get some medicine. The cake was perfect. The musical trio is the ONLY way to go. Everything was stunning and ran as smoothly as I'd first envisioned. Get through the stress, it's worth it.


So, that's my very wordy review of a wonderful bunch of resorts. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: January 2009
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6  Thank BeachBride24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 January 2009

This resort does everything well and you will have a very nice time here if you like this sort of holiday.

The grounds are well kept and beautiful, particularly towards the 'Bavaro' end of the resort where the accommodation blocks are smaller and dotted amongst the green lawns and trees. There is a 'train' which runs round the resort but unless you've got mobility difficulties it's easy to walk everywhere as the resort is not that huge.

The rooms are spacious and have everything you could need, including an iron and ironing board, hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities. So no need to pack any of that in your luggage!

The food is good with plenty of choice in the buffet restaurants and the a la cartes. The pools are large and have both shallow and deep water areas (maybe watch out for the deep areas if you have children). If you want to work out, there is a gym at the Spa which is well equipped - but remember that the free weights are in pounds not kilos....

The staff are very pleasant and hardworking. Most of them live on site in their accommodation blocks which are near the resort entrance.

The beach is of lovely white sand and the sea really is that luminous turquoise colour you see in the pictures. That said, it's not exactly the brochure image of you and your loved one alone on an isolated stretch of sand. The beach is quite narrow and covered in sunloungers quite close together, so it may not be quite as idyllic as you imagined.

Depending what you're looking for, the only drawback could be that this sort of resort is by its very nature pretty isolated from the country you're visiting. You won't really experience the Dominican Republic if you stay here and don't leave. The fact that it's "all inclusive" is an incentive not to leave, but you are allowed to leave and you can walk to the front gate. From there, you can ride into Bavaro on the back of a motorbike for about RD50. From the coach station in Bavaro, a coach to Higuey, the nearest town of any size, is RD80. If you understand Spanish and want to watch a movie, there's a cinema at Palma Real, which again is only a short ride away. Tour operators also sell excursions, although of course these work out much more expensive and you will still be in a group of European/North American tourists. But it all depends what you want.

If you've booked here, you can be sure of a quality and worry-free holiday.

  • Stayed: January 2009
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4  Thank Miguel26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2009

This resort was excellent. The Grand Palladium has four sets of hotels in Punta Cana: the Bavaro, the Palace, the Punta Cana, and The Royal suites. We stayed at the Palace the first week and moved the the Royal Suites the second for our honeymoon. The resort was excellent. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. Food was good at the buffets. The pool bar buffet was a little hit or miss but the others were good. We at at almost all the ala cartes, and the were really good with the exception of the Spanish (subpar service, not the tastiest food) and the International (food quality inconsistant, some had great meals some were so-so even though they ordered the same dish). We had our wedding ceremony there, and it was an awesome day. The lobbies all have free wifi internet that could be a little flakey connecting to at times but was plently fast enough for general surfing and email. The upgrade to the Royal suites gave us a private pool/beach area, nicer room with couch/big TV, free wifi internet throughout the resort (room and pool) included room service roomservice. The pool area was a quieter scene from the more lively other areas. Definately worth the price to upgrade if you like wifi internet and room service at all hours. But if you want to save some money, stay at whichever Palladium gives you the best deal in Punta Cana since you have access to all areas of the resort (minus the Royal suites)

  • Stayed: January 2009
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3  Thank jfrench1011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2009

Stayed from jan 8th to 16th and was pleasantly suprised how great this hotel and staff where.We stayed at the Iberostar Bavaro before and thought it would be hard to beat.But this place is as good or better.Staff can't say enough on how pleasant and hard working they are and always smiling or singing.Beach is amazing no coral or anything to watch out for except the white sand and the beautiful water.room was a loft near the beach and was kept spotless by our maid.Only downfall on the loft is if you get up for the middle nite pee run you are fully awake by the time you go down to bathroom and walk back up to the bedroom area.No big deal though!Sayed in Mexico last year was nice but the staff and people in Dominican are the best . Overall the hotel is fantastic , the buffet is better over at the Bavaro side because it is bigger and more to chose from only because i had a picky eater but she had no complaints always found something and was always going back for seconds.As always you will read bad comments but to complain about this resort,either you where just unlucky,or some people as we know will never be satisfied

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank MacEwen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2009

On November 12, 2008, our daughter married the love of her life at the Grand Palladium Palace Resort. We could not have been more pleased with the entire event! If we had known how professionally everyone would handle his/her part, we would not have had to stress about anything. We were so concerned that the quality of wedding we wanted for our daughter would not be possible, and that their best would not be good enough for us. How wrong we were!

Isyuney Peguero, the wedding coordinator at the resort, met with us upon arrival to arrange the particulars of our wedding, such as the venue (gabezo or beach), the choice of flowers for the bridal bouquet, and the reception menu. There was no pressure and she made many excellent suggestions. Isyuney escorted us around the resort explaining in detail how the wedding would be conducted. Because the ceremony had to be held in Spanish, we were pleased that Isyuney was the interpreter. Our forty guests knew when and where they would be picked up for the short tram ride to the wedding gazebo. Isyuney handled all aspects of our wedding with the ease and confidence of a pro!

The choice of including the 3-member musical trio was a good one. While drinks were served to our guests waiting for the bride, the music added to the ambiance then and immediately after the ceremony. The resort's photographer was very creative taking many photos before, during and after the ceremony, and at the beach. Two days later the photos were ready for viewing. There was a hard sell for the photo paackages, but you need to establish beforehand the dollar value you want to spend.

Each course of the reception dinner was beautifully served on the covered verandah of the La Uva restaurant by servers dressed in black pants and white shirts. The tables were elegantly dressed with white tablecloths, and we ate by candlelight with music softly playing in the background. Remember that the sun goes down quickly in this part of the world. The breeze from the ocean made our choice of eating on the verandah, rather than inside the restaurant, a good one as the air was still very warm. The restaurant had even baked a chocolate wedding cake upon the requst of the bride! We were not rushed at any time during the reception, although the restaurant was in use by other guests at the resort, and the speeches were heard well even without the use of a microphone.

If you are looking for a stress free, elegant tropical wedding, then Isyuney, the wedding coordinator at the Grand Palladium Resort, is the person to see. She is young, vivacious and eager to provide for you a memorable wedding. The many little extra touches, such as special flowers in the bridal suite, a welcome basket, and "bride and groom" towel art, simply showed us how Isyuney coordinated even the smallest of details to make this a beautiful wedding at this exceptionally beautiful resort.

Thank you, Isyuney, for our perfect wedding!

3  Thank sammymantha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2009

this was supposed to be a holiday of a lifetime however we will never go back in our lifetime. It started landing at the wrong airport been made to sit two hours on a plane without being notified about what was happening. the first morning we arrived for breakfast if thats what you could call it then every meal after that was as bad if not worse. My wife and i compared it to school dinners always cold and the same dishes every day.Then the fun really started at 12:30 am every night we had a rodent party in the air conditioning system which was above our heads to which we did not dare goto sleep after calling reception at least three times over the next three days to no avail (well they did spray bug repellent into the air con system.) We were able to get in touch with our rep who managed to get us moved within a couple of hours right next to the large pool no were near as nice as we had hoped and a hell of alot more noise. We were that sick by this time we just wanted to get home away from that hell hole. This was supposed to be the start of our new life together well we couldn't wait to get back home to start it properly

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank junior01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2009

Punta Cana airport is attractive, all thatched roofs and very easy, no hassle entry & exit. The general area is bush and half finished construction, ugly.
The hotel & room was fine, slightly above average. Small shower & toilet area. The buffets were good with plenty of choice and staff were all very nice.
The beach was very long and the sea quite nice although much colder than the southern Caribbean when I visited in Dec-Jan. There was not much to fault at the hotel. The specialty restaurants had very slow service, up to an hour to get served.
New Years eve there was a great fireworks show and then ---nothing. Strange as they have little shows on each night in 2 different locations and yet on Jan 01 nothing special. First time I have been in bed by 1 am probably did me some good!
The problem with Punta Cana is there is nothing outside your resort to go to check out. We did go to see Santo Domingo, but this is a long trip- 2 hours each way. Interesting what we saw of it.
There is no comparison between the sea in PC and say Barbados. Also in the smaller islands esp Barbados you get out and see the island and it's culture and meet it's people. Depends what you want, DR is cheaper.

Stayed: December 2008
Thank Bumbalum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino

Address: Avda. Francia s/n | Playas de Bavaro Higuey, 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) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#13 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#18 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#31 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £169 - £409 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 410
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino enjoys a privileged sea-front location on the renowned Playa Bavaro. The resort, located on a sprawling estate of lush tropical vegetation and a coconut plantation, is next to the Grand Palladium Bavaro Resort & Spa and the Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa. The facilities of these adjoining resorts are open to guests of the Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Palladium Palace Hotel
Grand Palladium Palace Punta Cana
Palladium Punta Cana

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