Overall, this is a solid 5 star resort.
My wife and I booked a presidential suite for 7 days. We have gone to Cuba and Mexico in this type of resort, but never had a more enjoyable experience. I would like to share what is worth being noted (both positive and negative):
---------- THE GOOD ----------
- The service. Many times it was noted that the service in this hotel is incredible. I agree. Everyone is there to please, and with a nice smile! Some nicely memorable folks are: Tapiness at the Diamond Club Lounge, Jose at the Hunter restaurant, Jose-Luis our butler, and Jose-Antonio at the Adults-only pool section.
- The rooms. Even the smallest rooms are very nicely decorated, with a modern simplistic style. I like that. The presidential suite we had is the size of 2 regular rooms, with 2 walk-in showers, 2 bathrooms, 3 sinks, and even 2 TV's! We also had our own 4 people dinining table, for those late-night room service uses.
- The shows. Every night, there was an outdoor show. Notable ones are the circus show, Michael Jackson show, and beach party. They were very entertaining, and free of course.
- The food is good, for the type of resort it is. The best restaurant in my opinion is the Hunter Steakhouse. People tend to oversell Zen, the Japanese restaurant; it is just passable asian cuisine, but with a chef show. Grazie, the italian, was also OK. Was not overly impressed by Opa the meditarranean restaurant. The Tapas bar was acceptable for a bar meal, but the flavors were not that developped. Don't be fooled by the expensive wine cards; every restaurant holds complimentary red wine, but it is not on the wine list. The house red wine is good, white not so much.
- You can eat 'A la carte' every night, unlike most resorts that limit you to 3 nights. Their buffet is good for both breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- There are not many random nick-nack salesmen on the beach, and those who do come around are not allowed to come into the area with chairs. Therefore, you have peace when you try to lay in the sun and relax.
- The ocean is incredible in that location, blue water and white sand beach.
- You get access to the Memories resort as well, which is next door.
- The resort is well configured, and is easy to navigate around on.
---------- THE BAD ----------
- The in-house TravelSmart PRESSURE SALES! This was the most annoying part of our vacation. There is a 'guest service' desk on the first floor of each building, and an employee present pretty much the whole day. Our room was on the third floor, and since this desk was next to the stairs we were constantly approached by these guys. First, they start off by greeting you a few times a day, and joking around. They tell you they have a gift for you. They explain that you get some free dominican souvenirs and a gift certificate at the spa if you agree to take a tour of the hotel to see the different room options that are available. My wife and I thought: hey, might as well get a tour of the other rooms, to see if we can come back and get a cheaper one next time. So we agree to go on this 'tour', which is in the TravelSmart 'lounge'. BIG TIME PRESSURE SALE. Here comes not one, not two, but three back-to-back salesmen who get more and more aggressive as they switch-up, trying to get you to buy a anything from a 2,000$ to 11,000$ vacation package from them. Thankfully, I am not one to get suckered from a pressure sale, and, after a 2 hour session of me saying "no thanks", we got out of there with a 30 minute free massage and a bottle of rhum. Worth it? Not so sure, but hey, at least my wife got a massage at the spa and I got to bring back some more rhum.
- This one is more minor, but worth mentioning. The workers have a pretty good english, but still lacking in some critical aspects. I have a walnut and pine nut allergy, and no one seemed to understand this in the restaurants. Also, at some point, we had a lizard come in from a vent in the ventilation of our room, and had trouble catching the bugger; service desk could not understand what a 'lizard' or 'animal' is (tried 2 different operators on the phone).
A note on the DIAMOND CLUB option:
It is worth it, if you can afford it for the trip. You get a private butler; our butler Jose-Luis constantly went out of his way to ensure that we had the best in our room. He made restaurant reservations, prepared our jacuzzi, etc. You even get a 'pillow menu', for those of us preferring firmer pillows. There is a private Diamond Club beach with beds that are very comfortable to stay in; there was always room in the beds and long chaises. The Diamond Club beach also has service for driinks and food. This also gives you access to the Spa hot tub, cold water bath, sauna, and steam room, which were very nice.
Overall, I would have said that this was a perfect All-Inclusive vacation in the South, if it wasn't for the misleading pressure sale.
We would definitely go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Royalton Punta Cana is a modern "All-In Luxury" Resort on Bavaro beach with unique all inclusive features like Reservation-Free Dining, international drinks, 24 hour room service and Dreambed. Guests can also take advantage of our All-In Connectivity exclusive features including: • Free Wi-Fi throughout the resort • Unlimited free in-room calling to North America and most of Europe • Convenient USB recharge and Bluetooth audio stations in your room • Download our free Royalton app and receive unlimited free calling plan from your mobile device while on our property, as well as unlimited free app-to-app texting. ... more less
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