The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana is an all-around nice all-inclusive resort but not one that deserves the 4 ½ star rating it has. The problem as we found it was that the resort didn’t differentiate itself from any other offerings and we didn’t receive a level of service that others mention here.
Our problems started with check-in. The front desk could not find our reservation (note to anyone going here, print anything and everything that is considered a voucher, for the hotel, for your taxi service, excursion, whatever, the island runs on being able to produce a voucher). After emailing our voucher numerous times to resort while we sat and waited things were finally sorted out for the most part. However the woman at reception read my wife’s passport incorrectly and put everything under her middle name. Further, when we got to our room there was a welcome card labeled “Welcome, John Doe”, not our names. These two errors plagued use the entire trip every time we tried to charge something to the room or make a reservation, and they were never corrected.
Our room was nice, spacious and well presented. The bed was good and the pillows were decent. The bathroom was also very nice and clean. Our problem was that in the five nights we stayed the room was cleaned once. This is due to the schedule we kept, we’d get up early, 7am, go to breakfast and the beach, return around 11am, stay in the room or go to the gym for an hour or so, go to lunch sometime in the early afternoon, return to the room mid afternoon and stay there until 6 or so before we went down to the bar and dinner. Only a couple of days did the staff attempt to clean our room while we were in it, and when we notified them we’d be out in a little while no one returned in that time to clean the room. This was a nuisance because when its 88 degrees and humid you tend to take a couple showers a day and use towels quickly.
Speaking of showers, the one in the room looks nice but is largely for show. I could only get water to come out the jets in pairs, not all at once. You’ll also struggle to take a cool shower if you want to, the water gets very hot. The only other issue we noticed with the room is that the mini-fridge is kept in a cabinet which makes it get very hot and then turn off, leading to flat sodas and skunked beers. A recommendation to the hotel is to put the fridge somewhere where it will get air circulation.
Onto the beach and pools: The beach is very nice, calm, beautiful water, and clean. Lounges and chairs are ample as are the towels. If you go early like we did you’ll have an easy time finding a space, there is also less seaweed around at that time. As the week progressed we noticed more beach vendors but in general you will be left alone which is nice. My wife frequented the Reserve pool but I did not. She noted the lounges needed to be replaced and were discolored from sweat and pool water. The pool is very nice and can be calm but at certain points of the afternoon can become very, very loud with families and music.
Entertainment: Admittedly we didn’t do much, it wasn’t the design of vacation. There is plenty available to do however either free or for an extra charge. The run in we did have with one of events was some party going on at the Reserve pool that lasted until 4 am. I’m not sure what exactly was going on, I couldn’t see from the balcony, but loud Latin music was playing until 4 am and caused for a lack of sleep. We were on the third floor on the building furthest from the pool and could hear the music clearly all night, it was maddening. For a place that bills itself as a family resort this didn’t seem to cohesive with that.
Other: The gym is nice, its gets quite hot but there is only so much air conditioners can do on a hot humid day while 10 people are exercising. They could use some more dumbbells of higher weights however. The free bikes you can reserve are a nice idea and make for a quicker trip down the beach or restaurant. They are a little rickety and rough riding but they get the job done.
Restaurants: We went to most of the restaurants and were overall pleased with the quality, variety, and taste. We ran into a couple problems with timing and reservations. Our first day there we arrived late in the afternoon when everything was closed before dinner and we couldn’t get a reservation anywhere until 9 am. All restaurants strictly adhere to the reservation you have, you won’t be seated a moment before even if the place is empty. Our second problem on the first day is that the front desk told us we couldn’t make reservations a day in advance which wasn’t true and caused for some late night eating.
Naos: We went here for breakfast 4 out of 5 days. Selection is great and things are fresh. The omelets are well made as well but there are no condiments. Being close to the beach is a bonus
Gabi Club: Went for 1 breakfast, selection wasn’t as good as Naos but it isn’t as big. We went here once for lunch as well and it was much better. Great selection and variety, well made samplers.
Gabi Beach: Went for a couple lunches. It gets quite crowded and there is nothing to distinguish it from a run-of-the-mill buffet.
Passion: Too good to write about quickly. I wrote a separate review, simply put the best dinner we had and a definite must go.
Fuego: The biggest disappointment. A rude hostess that made us wait a half hour beyond our reservation. Tiny portions that lacked flavor, uninspired dishes that make it very forgettable. Avoid.
Bana: Decent but not great. It’s a hibachi place with a lack of showmanship. Don’t go here if you’d like to have dinner alone. You also don’t get a choice of a meal, and only a choice of one of two appetizers. The sushi was good but everything else was drowned in soy sauce and consequently salty.
Mole: A good Mexican restaurant with classic dishes that were well made and fresh. A great steak and great appetizers.
Aqua: We had one great lunch here with octopus tartar, eggplant parmesan, lobster lasagna, and risotto. Everything was great, flavorful and fresh, the best lunch of trip, and one of the top three meals. We returned a couple days later for lunch and things were only ok. My order was wrong and the pizzas we got could have come from the frozen food section of any supermarket.
Vento: Second best meal of the trip. A quiet, intimate place with inspired, flavorful dishes. The menu is well thought out and everything looked pleasing. If you have doubts about some of the other restaurants do yourself a favor and go here twice.
Overall I’d say The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana is middle of the road, the great things are tempered by annoyances and a lack of concern. If you are a couple without kids, take the family reviews with a grain of salt, you might not get the same level of service. If you want somewhere truly quiet, don’t go here. But its good value for the money that can be made better by the choices in room and food you make.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Southall Travel, Odigeo, Expedia, HotelsClick, Hotels.com, Ebookers and 5viajes2012 S.L. so you can book your The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.