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“Sooooooooooooo Relaxing!!!!”

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Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino
Ranked #18 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
pasadena md
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Sooooooooooooo Relaxing!!!!”
Reviewed 21 July 2009

We just returned from a wonderful trip to Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa and Casino in Punta Cana (7/13/09 to 7/20/09). This trip was a graduation gift to our daughter (and a gift to us for getting her through high school!) My husband and I are not beach people, but since it was her graduation, she got to pick the location and I did the research to select the hotel. We have cruised several times and enjoy the excitement of going to new islands every day and the variety of entertainment and things to do on a ship. We were not looking forward to day after day on the same beach, with the same things to do. We were pleasantly surprised. It’s different from a cruise, but I can’t say it’s better or worse… on a cruise, you have more of a schedule and many more options of excursions and things to do on each island. At an all inclusive, you have no schedule and almost no decision making, you just do what you want when you want. You are able to be brain-dead if you want, and you don’t feel as if you are missing out on anything. In my opinion, the food on a cruise is better (although nothing is bad at the all-inclusive, just not quite at the cruise standards), however, at an all inclusive your drinks are included and you have to pay additional for drinks on a cruise… this can get expensive with 4 people in your party! Remember, you are in a country where the preferred mode of transportation is a moped - if you are happy just to "get away", you will thoroughly enjoy this hotel. Here are a few of the things I was glad I knew before we went and a few things I learned while there:
• Bring your own insulated big cup unless you will be sitting at the bar constantly. The drinks are served in small plastic cups. I took a cup about the size of a Big Gulp. I was able to get a drink to sip on at the beach for an hour or 2 without getting up every 10 minutes. My husband thought he would just drink beer all week until he tasted “Presidente” – he changed his mind after one day and shared my rum punch. This is also nice if you want to go back to your room early for the evening and want something besides the Fanta in your mini-bar.
• Two different people service your room – One cleans and the other stocks your mini-bar. If you want to request a specific drink, leave the note in the frig, not just on a table. A couple of bucks and some candy bars for the maids make them very happy.
• Don’t over pack clothes. You will be wearing a swim suit most of the day and only changing for dinner. A swimsuit with a cover up or t-shirt/shorts is fine for breakfast and lunch in the buffets. For dinner at the buffets, men can wear Bermuda shorts and a t-shirt, but the shirt must have sleeves, no tank tops. There is no dress code for the women. For the A la carte restaurants, the men must wear long pants (they will turn you away if you are in shorts) and again, no dress code for women. DO OVER PACK SUNSCREEN. Even when you think you have enough, grab another bottle. This is one thing that we had to buy and it was $17 for a bottle - still worth it when compared to a sunburn!
• Bring an extension cord. The outlets are recessed from the wall and if your phone charger or battery charger has a large plug, it will not fit. They sell adapters at the gift shop, but why pay for something you will only need once?
• Walk through the resort gift shop before going to the beach vendors. This will give you an idea of a good price to work for. Be just as aggressive as they are – they will physically grab you and try to pull you into their shop, and then block your way from getting out. I enjoyed the bargaining, but my husband became angry when the vendor would not let him out of the shop. We walked through once but didn’t buy anything, and ended up back in the resort gift shop where we actually paid less than the lowest price from the beach vendors.
• Bring your own Imodium or Pepto. They give you plenty of bottled water, and the ice is safe, but the change in diet can upset your stomach. Friends of ours took a Pepto every morning no matter how they felt and they were fine the whole trip.
• Bring your own toilet paper if you have an aversion to linty sandpaper. (I guess I don’t need to explain this one!!)
• There is Verizon service on the island. Stop by your local Verizon store before you go. They can check your account and let you know the cost for calls and texting. With our plan, calls cost $0.50 per minute, but texting was free, so this is how we communicated with our daughter and her friend when we weren’t together. While at the Verizon store, ask them to update your roaming map – this ensures you have service on the island.
• Topless sunbathing – hello husbands – there is topless sunbathing on the beach!! Don’t stare and no, you can’t walk up and get your picture with them.
• Pool closes for chemicals and cleaning between 6-8 (varies each day)
• Beach bars open at 10 and close at 5
• Tips – yes, this is all-inclusive, however, the employees work for much less than you or I and yet are always happy and willing to help. Most can communicate in several different languages and will do whatever they can to make sure you are having a good time. We gave a dollar each time we ordered drinks and left a few dollars and some candy bars for the room maid. Our total at the end of the week was maybe $100 – if the casino hadn’t been so warm, we could have lost that amount in 30 minutes! It’s really not that much for a whole week and knowing how much it is appreciated by the staff.
• If you want a good spot under a tiki hut, get up early to place your towels. All the huts were taken by 7:30 am. We were early to bed each night, so I got up by 6 each morning and watched the sunrise from my chair. Most people just placed their towel to save the chair, and then went back to their room to sleep until 9 or 10.
• Snorkleing – there is no real good snorkeling off this beach, so we booked the Mariniarium excursion. This took you on a party boat to a reef to snorkel first over the coral, and then you had a chance to go into an enclosure to snorkel with nurse sharks and stingrays. They supplied the gear (so no need to add the 30 lbs. of fins and masks to your suitcase like we did) and allowed you to snorkel for about 45 minutes before getting you back on the boat and taking you to a shallow sand bar where they served you drinks in the water. There was lots of music and dancing and great crew interaction. This is a good choice for the younger crowd, but I would have preferred the “Reef Explorer” which took you to the same snorkeling spot for several hours. There was a floating deck with a juice bar and plenty of lounge chairs. No matter what you choose, check the prices with the onsite Apple rep first. There are guys from Dolin Dive center that will approach you everyday trying to get you to book through them. They were more expensive, and you didn’t get the “Apple Guarantee” so there was no telling the quality of the trip.

Well, I believe that just about everything… just remember, you’re on vacation and not at work. That alone should be enough to make you smile! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions – mrs.captn1@verizon.net

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
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3 Thank mrs_captn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Montreal
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2009

First off, please, totally ignore any really negative reviews of this resort, those people must be utterly insane to give this place any less than 4 stars and have nothing better to do than complain.

Our honeymoon started with a fantastic flight on Sunwing, complimentary champagne and meal made the flight a comfortable one, and after a 20 minute or so coach transfer we arrived at the Palladium. Quick and painless check in and we were on our way to our room.

We informed the staff thru our travel agent this was our honeymoon, and all the little perks we requested, (but didn't pay for) were honored, a king bed and jacuzzi in our suite, very close to the beach.

First little hitch was the safe in our room, we couldnt get it to re-program our code, and we had a hell of a time trying to get someone to come fix it, as it was it took till our second day there, which meant carrying all our valuables and documents around with us... not exactly what we'd wanted. Eventually though a manager came up to our room and we were good to go.

Ok, so that was the only real problem, but it quickly was forgotten and we could get on with the hard work of relaxing by the beach and enjoying the wonderful weather that greeted us.

As for the beach, simply amazing... being Australian I have a pretty high standard for what constitutes a good beach, and the Palladium has one of the nicest I've ever set foot on. Hard working staff keep the beach and surrounds spotless, and the water is beautiful and warm.

After a long day on the beach, it'd be time to eat at one of several places on the resort, either a la carte, or the buffet near the main pool. We tried the Japanese, (good, entertaining, food was hit and miss) and the Spanish (meh). My advice would be to mostly stick to the buffet if you are a fussy eater (like me), as they have a truly great selection for breakfast lunch and dinner every day, yummy deserts and good coffee. I ordered cappucinos after just about every meal there!

Wait staff is awesome, they know a little english, but take the time to learn a little Spanish, just a gracias here and there goes a long way. Really, cannot say enough about how nice these people all are, every single one always had a smile, no request ever went unfulfilled.

For things to do at night, there's always at least two shows playing at both the amphitheaters, (the Michael Jackson show was pretty good, but go early so you get a good seat) or there's a disco for the younger crowd. And there's the Casino if you want to burn some cash... small selection of machines and a few tables.

Now for the bad, and these are things that are really out of the resorts control, so I do not count these as points against the Palladium...

The eastern europeans, are in a word, obnoxious. Smoking like chimneys, and talking loud and constantly on the beach. Yeah, just what I want on my vacations, thanks. I guess we were just unlucky, but our luck must've been really bad, as we saw this constantly.

The speedboats whizzing by, and the helicopters and paragliders overhead were a bit of a nuisance also, but I guess you get that anywhere on a touristy beach like this one. Was not so bad early in the morning, but by lunch time they are pretty constant. I could zone them out, but would really bug me occasionally.

Overall though, I would highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for a beautiful, warm getaway on the beach, with fantastic food and friendly, courteous staff.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sunkipper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2009

We stayed at this resort the week of July 6-13. It rained the first day we got there but after that only rained a few evenings. The resort is nice but we've stayed in better. The food gets boring after a few days. You never get ice in any beverage you order. Even if you ask for it you will never get it. The room was decent. We had trouble with the air conditioning the second day we got there. Our Apple rep. took care of communicating this to the front desk and it was fixed that night. By the last day it was broke again. We got one washcloth for two people so we asked for more at the front desk. They didn't understand. So we showed one to the maid and she brought more but we didn't get them daily. The beds were uncomfortable and the pillows were flat. The pool and beach were clean and we could always get a lounge chair under an umbrella. Overall a nice place but would not go back.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank BaltimoreLeisurelady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ottawa ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 July 2009

I travelled to the grand palladium bavaro resort and spa from dec 6-13th. My friend and I booked this through Marlin travel (excellent service) and went through air transat. When we arrived at the airport it was slightly confusing but managed. Upon arrival to the resort we were greeted by some of their staff that were friendly and nice. We received our bracelets( we booked it all inclusive). Bellboys took our luggage and brought it to our rooms and were quite friendly as well. The rooms were clean and had all the amenities, tv, ipod alarm clock, robes, lots of towels, and the fridge. The only downfall to the room was the air conditioning was very cold. there were small ants in the bathroom but that was nothing big. The bathroom shower did leak (the stand-up shower) and the jacuzzi tub was great. Room service was done in our room 2 times a day, fridge was always stocked and if we needed anything they were right there to provide it for us. Beach was very crowded and no chairs anytime of the day. The pools were always packed but never really used it. Casino was very small but good to kill some time in. The tram was slow and the wait time sometimes was more than 35 min. The driver seemed to stop and talk to almost everyone. The excursions that we booked were through our air transat rep which was: a half day 4 wheeler trip, floating dock with massage tables, snorkeling, snacks, sharks, stingray tank, and kayaking on the ocean. The guides for this trip were amazing and very friendly. The other excursion was the Bavaro runners trip which was full day. this trip was great, got to see how people live, went to a house that made cacao, coffee, vanilla, and much more. Our guide for that was totally informative, friendly and very polite. We also went to the public beach for a swim, the weather was back and fourth that day with rain and sun. Overall this trip was well worth the $1500 for the week. We tipped frequently at the bar and each day in our room. The only downfall was the lack of english speaking people working there. We found one receptionist that helped us out the entire time of our stay. The other downfall was all the cheapee cheapee's on the beach harassing everyone. Just yell out I don't want drugs, that will make them leave you alone....hahahaha. Overall it was a great experience and would go back again. I also left out the food part. The dining hall for breakfast was great, the dinner was fantastic and most food was delicious, with the exception of some meats. The sports bar food came in handy for snacks to tide you over throughout the day. They had pizza, ice cream, hot dogs, fries and of course we had access to unlimited drinks and food. We never did any a la cartes, nothing seemed appealing to us. We were also told not to venture off the resort alone, especially at night. We were offered to go from a few people that lived there but refused due to safety reasons.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank chadam211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 July 2009

I was unsure of the resort and some of the reviews I read were not great, but I realized everyones expectations are different, so I took the chance. From the time we got off the bus, we were greeted at the front desk with a glass of fruit punch and a clean cloth to wash our hands from the trip from the airport. We were in our room less than 10 minutes after arriving. Our room had a king size bed and jacuzzi tub. Our maid Rosa was great. We left her a $2 tip everyday and she left us oragamis made from towels and fresh flowers. We went on a 4 wheeler excursion (waste of money) and my tennis shoes got all muddy. A couple days later we came back to the room and Rosa scrubbed my shoes ( i did not ask her) and put them in the sun to dry. She went out of her way for us. The hotel grounds were beautiful. It is a big resort, sharing with 2 other resorts, but it was fun and relaxing taking long walks in the evening or catching the trolley train to ride around. The staff was friendly but did not go out of their way for you. There definately is a language barrier. The pools (4) were nice and clean, the beach was beautiful (remember, European women sunbathe with out tops). Take lots of sunscreen, the sun will bake you in about 15 minutes. They do not believe in washclothes, so either take your own or do without. They will give you 2 key cards when you get there, one goes in the little box by your door for your electricity and the other is your room key. We left ours in the box the whole time so our air conditioner and fridge would stay on. The maid never bothered it. If you get a chance, take the jeep jungle safari (not with the big trucks), its more comfortable and you get to see more. There are only 4 people in the jeep compared to 15 or so in the truck. The jeep safari also offers a zip line excurusion at the same time, which was great. Something we never tried, but would definately do again. Take a big bottle of tylenol or advil with you. I had to pay $20 for tylenol (24 pills) because my husband got an ear infection while we were there. We went to the clinic at the resort, $95 just to see the doctor, plus whatever the medicine would cost, needless to say, we did not see the doctor. I bought ear drops at the market at the resort. Don't take a phone card with you, they do not work in the DR, you can either purchase one by the pay phones at the resort, or you can use your credit card which is $24 for 5minutes and $2 a minute after that. You can buy a 60 minutes of internet time for $8, that was the cheapest and easiest way for me to keep in contact with our kids. The casino is nothing amazing (about 20 slots machines and 4 tables). It cost $2 a stamp for post cards, BUT, it will take weeks possibly a month for it to reach the US. I sent some to my grandkids on July 4th, they still are not here (7-16). The restaurants were decent, we could always find something to eat. Breakfast is 7-10, lunch (not all serve lunch) is 1-4 and most restaurants open for dinner at 7pm. You just have to sit back and go with the flow and you will enjoy yourselves.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Debbie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2009

We stayed in the Royal Suites section from 4 June to 18 June. Our stay was fantastic. We had booked and paid for the upgraded section to stay in the Royal Suites. On arrival we were again upgraded to the newer part of the complex. The rooms here were top class 5*. However, we were a bit further from the sea than what we had wanted and the reception staff were more than happy to move us to another room. The view from this room was great. It looked right onto the pool and the sea. We had a jacuzzi in our balcony - out of this world!! With staying in the Royal Suites, you were provided with slippers, dressing gowns and unlimited top up of the mini bar! You could even put in a request for what drink you preferred. The restaurants were limitless - the private Royal Suites Restaurant was lovely and was a pleasure to eat in. The other restaurants were really good as well and the choice (for me who is a picky eater) was great. We tried all of the restaurants while we were there and would recommend the Italian and the Mexican. We also went to the theatre and this good entertainment when on holiday. The weather was also great when we were there - it did rain everyday while we were there but this was around 6pm at night and it only rained for a short bit. It was quite nice as it brought a breeze!! The pools were fantastic and just great to relax in. Claire our Thomas Cook rep was great and helped us book the right trips (coral reef snorkelling would recommend).

Overall we had a great romantic honeymoon and would be back in a flash!! Would recommend you upgrade to the Royal Suites as there is a huge difference!!!

P.S. Casino was good night out for a bit of fun!!

Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Linz55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burlington Ontario
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2009

My husband and I went from June 20-27th. And I can not rave enough about this hotel. From the time we stepped off of the bus and went to the front desk we experienced nothing but friendly service. The only complaint we did have is that we were not shown how to get to our room and it was dark and quite confusing. We had to ask a couple of people were our building was.
The rooms were cleaned every day and mini bars were stocked daily. The food at the buffets are excellent. They have a wide variety of food every day. Not once did we not have an abundance of different things to choose from. Any of the meat we tried was good and all of the fruit and veggies were awesome.
We also like that we didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get a lounger at the pool. As a matter of fact there were still loungers empty at 9 am which in my hotel experience is rare. Getting one on the beach is another story. You have to be down there by 6-6:30 or you will only find one at the back which is close to the road. The beach is truly a dream. The Ocean is very clean. Nothing in between your toes.
All of the people working at this resort were very friendly. We had absolutey no problem with any of the staff there. They are the friendliest people. We just loved them. They couldn't have made us feel more at home.
We plan on returning on our next trip.
Burlington Ontario

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank smcgraw
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

Property: 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
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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