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“Stay at the reserve !!!”

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Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort
Ranked #17 of 113 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 3 June 2009

I wanted to give a little background first.. We were here for a wedding and fortunately fell upon an amazing deal to stay at the 'reserve' vs the resort and it was cheaper than the wedding rates.. The rest of the group was at the big resort. We had an amazing time at the reserve.. Amazing rooms, we were in a Master 1bedroom concierge family suite, (fridge was stocked geared towards kids but it was just my husband and myself.. Sofia was amazing, we were given a radio to call her any time of the day or nite(no we did not use it at all).

The reserve was so calm and tranquil compared to the other resort, right up our alley.. I do have to say that the food was adequate at most. We ate sushi 1st nite (only reservation we could get that was not 10pm), and we ate the gabi beach club for dinner on our last nite and wedding food in the middle.. We ate breakfast at both places, i do have to say that breakfast was by far the best meal we had.. Freshly squeezed juices, mango, melon, bananna.. OMG sooo good!, and at the reserve a little bar of bloddy mary and mimosas. The cocktails were also very good and at the bar in the main lobby at the main resort they made pretty decent martini's.

Ok the bad.. This is coming from my friends experience being the bride and groom and staying at the main resort.. They totally messed up their wedding. Yes weather came into play, there was a horrendous thunderstorm, power was knocked out and it flooded the resort, the bottom floor rooms were 'evacuated' temporally to the bar in the main lobby.. The problem was that they signed a contract stating that they would be the only wedding that day and when it was time to shuffle things aroudn the weather there was no place to put us b/c 2 other weddings took up the ideal locations for the reception/cocktail hr.. We were put in the back conference room.. Us as guests did not realize this was not susposed to happen.. We had a super time but after talking to a devestated bride and groom we found out everything that gone wrong.. Including a live local band that only played for 30minutes that was susposed to play thru the cockail hr and 3hr reception. To make matters worse we brought the bride and groom to our room the last nite to see how great the reserve was and our wonderful concierge had our hot tub filled w/ bubbles, rose petals in the shape of heart in the bubbles, candles all over , a bottle of chilled champagne and roses all over our bed.. OMG amazing.. Well apparently our friends (bride and groom ) requested that for their wedding nite to the 'royal services ' concierge at the main resort and nothing was done or even acknowledged by an apology by their concierge.

We planned on coming back w/ our son but after all the problems our friends encountered I don't think that will happen.. I have a problem w/ a place that service is so all over the place and would not 'take care' of a bride and groom.

I would recommend the reserve to a friend but not the main resort!!!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank sydrox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7,913 - 7,919 of 11,471 reviews

Reviewed 2 June 2009

My wife and I just returned from a 5 day honeymoon at Paradisus Palma Real, and we absolutely loved it. First, we are not big all inclusive vacationers and generally prefer places where we can kind of adventure around on our own and try many different restaurants, beaches and bars. We decided that for our honeymoon, since we were only going for 5 days due to our wedding being on a Sunday, that we wanted to try an upscale all inclusive so that we could focus more on relaxing. PPR was the perfect place for us to accomplish this.

I must also say that I read all of the reviews on various sites before choosing PPR and the conclusion that I reached prior to booking PPR still stands - certain people will work very hard to find things to complain about...at every resort everywhere in the world, things go wrong everyday and the key to enjoying yourself is not to let these minor issues bother you. We are a very easy going couple and the minor things that did go wrong did not bother us at all, we still thoroughly enjoyed our stay at PPR.

We did not get Royal Service and I do not personally think it is necessary if you tip well and don’t expect to be waited on hand and foot every second of the day. After listening to the Royal Service benefits listed by a few other couples who were staying in the Royal Service Section, our vaction concierge at the front desk did almost everything that the RS butler did for them and our maids left everyting we asked for in the room every day.

My review is pretty long and detailed but I really appreciated all of the in depth reviews people provided on this site, so I am going to do my best to reveiw every aspect of the hotel.

SALES PRESENTATION: As many other reviewers alluded to, your concierge will try to get you to agree to sit through a 90 minute sales presentation for the vacation club. My wife and I were interested in learning how the program works but my main reason for agreeing to sit through it was that I know that the concierge – the person in charge of getting you reservations for dinner, etc. and everything else you need – gets some sort of credit for each couple that he gets to do the tour/presentation. The tour wasn’t that bad, it included breakfast at Gabi Beach café, which is not included unless you are RS or at the Reserve and you can move it along politely by asking your guide. I was glad we agreed to the tour, I made our concierge, Alberto “Solutions” aware that I knew that it helped him out if we did the tour and for the entire trip, we never had a dinner reservation before 6:30 or after 8:15pm. Some other couples who were staying in Royal Service were complaining about dinner reservations as late as 9:30pm!

RESORT: Grade A+++ The grounds are absolutely breathtaking, the place really does look like it appears to in the pictures. The furnishings and architecture throughout the resort are absolutely top notch. The grounds and landscaping are beautiful, including the many flowers, fauna and lagoons. The flamingos near the lobby were neat too. The main section of the resot does have a business center with internet access which is $5 for 15 minutes but the internet there was down the entire time we were there.

WEATHER: Grade A+ everyday was sunny temps in mid 80s and only one night was pretty humid, otherwise there was a great breeze coming in off the ocean.

BEACH: Grade A The beach is very nice and large with plenty of chairs and palapa huts. The sand is sugary and soft. I do not think the resort was very crowded during our stay, but we generally stopped by the beach to claim chairs and a hut around 8am each day and we always got the same chairs and hut for the entire 5 days. The towel stand by the pool never had any problems giving us 4 towels for just the two of us each day, we always got a hut and chairs up close to the ocean. The workers at PPR come out each morning and rake and remove the sea grass from the beach, there is always a little left over but not a problem at all. The clear water only goes up to about chest height and then you can see the sea grass on the ocean floor after that. There was a pleasant waitress at the beach by about 11am or so everyday, that brought us whatever we wanted from the bar, we usually tipped her a dollar or two for each order she brought back. There are also security personnel from PPR on the beach at all times to chase away any pushy vendors or non-PPR guests who pop up on the beach. I will say that the only thing that I was jealous of as far as the Royal Service Amenities was the padded beach chairs and beds on the beach in the RS section, the regular section had only standard beach chairs.

POOLS: Grade A+, While we spent most of our time at the beach, we did come up to the pool and pool bar most afternoons, the pool is beautiful and huge, with plenty of palap hut beds surrounding it. The pool bar was great fun as well.

ROOMS: Grade A+++ We stayed in an Ocean View Room (not Royal Service) on the 3rd Floor and it was excellent. We requested a 3rd floor room close to the beach while we were checking in and we were very pleased with our room. It was located a short walk from the lobby and beach. The room itself was beautiful, furnishings very nice, nice balcony too. There was a 32 inch flat screen tv, small fridge/minibar loveseat with coffee table, desk with chair and two other chairs with a small table. The balcony also had a small table and two chairs. We had a nice view of the pool and ocean. We tipped our maid $3 - $5 every day and left a list of what kind of drinks we wanted. I usually asked for a few Budweisers and a bottle of red wine and every day when we returned from the beach, our room was impecably clean and the drinks we requested were there. (Room service will also bring you pretty much anything you want if you call). Bed was very nice and comfortable but the biggest surprise was the number of tv stations available. The tvs get nearly 100 channels, most of them in english, including espn, hbo, showtime, starz and other movie channels. The craziest thing about the tvs was that the power goes out almost everyday at the resort and every light, clock etc. would turn off, but the tv would still be running, wow. We usually came back from the beach in the afternoon and enjoyed a few beers or bottle of wine while watching a movie and getting ready for dinner, very relaxing. The Jacuzzi was also excellent, very large and open to the rest of the room. The room also had a nice safe that you use your room card to set your own code to so no one else knows it.

BARS: Grade A, All top shelf liquor, including my favorites Jack Daniels and Stoly were avaialble at all of the bars, most bars have a few beers but it seems like they run out of Bud and Corona from time to time and only have Presidente. I must say, I did not like Presidente when I had tried it a year ago in the Caribbean, but it does not taste bad out of a tap. They also have Presidente Light and a Dominican Corona substitute that is very good with a lime. We enjoyed the lobby bar a good bit, although it can be a bit hot and muggy and does not get a good breeze. The bar near the Naos buffet and Market Grill is a better bet at night as the ocean breeze makes things very comfortable. The pool bar is a lot of fun beginning around 2pm every day, very nice beds in the pool with tables for drinks and palapa huts overhead. We always met the other couples that we became friendly with at the pool bar in the afternoon for drinks.

STAFF: Grade A+++ I did not encounter any staff that did not speak any English at all. For the most part all of the staff spoke enough English to communicate and give us whatever we needed, absolutely everyone on the staff had a great helpful attitude and gave us great service in all aspects of our stay. A few times I asked the hostess at a restaurant if it was “possible” for us to sit at a table up near the ocean and the response I always got was “anything is possible here”. From the bartenders to the waiters to the hostesses and bellhops, everyone was super nice and helpful and always made their best efforts to speak English to us. A few of them even asked us for pointers on their English, which we happily gave.

WINE: Grade A I chose to give the wine its own section because we really enjoyed it. I am not a wine snob by any means, but I am an avid red wine drinker and I drink red wine several times a week with meals and have a fairly educated palette for wine. The wine included in the all inclusive package 5 or so reds and 5 or so whites is very good. While I only sampled one of the whites, I really liked all of the reds. They have a few Chilean cabernets that would stand up to any $20 - $30 bottle of cab you get in the US. Our favorite was the Maipo Cabernet. There were also a few malbecs and blends that were very nice as well.

FOOD: Grade B+ Overall, we really enjoyed all of the food we had at PPR. As many others who have reviewed Dominican resorts have indicated, for the most part, the food is not exactly of the consistent quality that you get in the US, so if you go in with that in mind, you will really enjoy almost everything. That being said, a few of the meals we had at PPR far surpassed our expectations and would rate right up there with some of the finer restaurants in the US.

Passion, Vento and Bana all have different specialty cocktails (bellinies, martinis, etc.) and a bar just outside each restaurant (but still in air conditioning), I would recommend showing up 15 minutes or so early for dinner to these places to sit at the bar to sample the drinks. Also, they request you to wear long pants and collared shirt and closed toe shoes, so pack accordingly.

NAOS – breakfast/lunch buffet Grade B- The variety and selection of food at Naos is very good and some dishes are executed brilliantly while some staples fall a little short. One example of this would be breakfast food. Without a doubt the best thing at breakfast is the made to order omelets. You pick out your ingredients and hand them to the omelet cook who always did a great job, we usually spiced our omelets up a bit with some of the spicy green chile sauce near the condiments, delicious. The breakfast food that fell a little short was the buffet bacon, sausage and eggs which were usually a little over/under cooked. The fruit was always plentiful and fresh as well. Surprisingly, they had very good cheeseburgers and decent French fries on the lunch buffet. A few days they had a good Paella with rice, chicken, shrimp, mussels and calamari and many many other options. We never had dinner at Naos so no idea what they served there.

ROOM SERVICE: Grade C, The room service menu is somewhat limited, for breakfast they only have cereal, fruit, yogurt, etc.; for lunch they have a few different salads, a club sandwich, cheese burger and fries but the burger was decent. Actually the thing we liked most from room service was the cheese and fruit platter they offer with a bottle of wine.

VENTO: a la carte dinner Grade A, We dined at Vento twice, very cool relaxing, romantic setting. They have a fantastic mushroom risotto that we had both times we were there. Also the shrimp au gratin was amazing. I had the same entrée both times as well, the Filet, which was served atop gnocchi and was cooked to my liking, medium rare. My wife had a sea bass that was also tasty. I would rate the steaks as being a half step below what you would get at a restaurant like Ruth’s Cris.

BANA: Grade B, Bana serves Japanese, sushi, hibachi style and thai. We ate at the hibachi grill, our chef was not very skilled or entertaining but the food was decent and it was a nice change from the other dinner places, which have some similarities in their offerings.

PASSION: Grade B+, Passion has a great setting, nice décor and the food is very good. I got the grilled lobster which was had a very good flavor but was a little on the tough side. Overall the food was very good at passion.

MARKET GRILL: Grade A+++, this was our best meal and favorite restaurant of the week. First of all, we had a 7pm or so reservation and it was not very crowded so I requested a table closest to the beach/ocean, and we got the best table there. The view, scene and ocean breeze could not have been more perfect, the most romantic setting for dinner. I got surf and turf, this time the lobster was perfect, right on the money, grilled tender with a squeeze of lime juice. The steak was also cooked perfectly, melted in your mouth, everything was great. We were having such a nice time that we lingered over our meals and ordered a 2nd bottle of wine, the wait staff was great and very accommodating. Market Grill is closed on certain days when they do a special Dominican dinner, I believe it was Saturday and Sunday, if we had known we would have booked our dinners differently so we could eat at Market Grill twice instead of Vento.

SPA: Grade A+++++++, the 25,000 square foot Yhi Spa is located at the Reserve. You will see a smaller Yhi Spa in the main part of the hotel but once the Reserve section was finished in May 2009, all spa operations are there. First let me say that I had never had a massage before this trip and I was of the mind set that I would not enjoy one. Boy was I wrong. My wife and I booked a 50 minute couples massage for the second day we were there. You want to get to the spa about 30 minutes before your massage (just catch a golf cart at the main lobby) as they have a huge hydrobath area with all kinds of different baths, water pressure, etc. I called it the spa amusement park. We had a great time in the hydrotherapy section playing in all the pools and getting massaged by all the different water pressure outlets. I enjoyed going from the Vitality Pool which was ice cold water into the huge hot tub. They also have huts with beds that you can relax on. We liked it so much we went back 2 days later for a 75 minute couples hot stone massage. I would highly recommend the hot stone massage, it was an amazing experience. My masseuse was Maria and she was awesome, really work the kinks out. We tipped our masseuse $20 each for both massages. Also the fully private but outdoor showers for after your massage were a slice of heaven, the cool breeze coming in from above was invigorating.

CASINO: Grade B, My wife is not a big gambler, but we had a great time at the casino. The casino has numerous slots, video poker machines, Roulette, BlackJack and Caribbean Stud Poker. We mainly played black jack and roulette. It was never crowded while we were there which was nice as you did not feel crowded trying to play. $5 min bet on black jack and outside bets on roulette. It was also always easy to get drinks at the bar in the Casino.

SHOWS: I am not going to grade the entertainment because we only say about 5 minutes of a dancing show, which was ok. Their biggest night is the Dominican Michael Jackson Show, which we did not make it to. However, on a few nights, they had live music on a small stage outside of the casino and it was great, live singers, musicians and salsa dancing.

NIGHTLIFE: We preferred to drink the afternoon away, have drinks at dinner and then a few at the casino and we were usually in bed by 10pm or so, so we never even went into the disco. I did hear from a few guests that it was sweltering hot in there though.

EXCURSIONS: We only did the complimentary horse back riding, which was a lot of fun. We only had 2 other couples on our trip so it was not hectic at all and we were all beginners at riding horses so there was a feeling of comradery among us. It was fun and worth doing, they even let the horses go into a full gallop on the beach. A woman from the ranch follows your group around by car and takes hundreds of pictures, then shows them to you on a laptop afterwards and asks if you would like to buy a cd of the pictures of you and your wife/husband for $20. At first I was like “yeah right” but once I saw how many pictures of us on the horses there were and how good the pictures were I purchased the cd, it was delivered to our room the same day.


1. As I said, the power goes off almost every day at some point, so bring a battery powered clock or watch with an alarm, you can’t rely on the alarm clocks there since they go off every night with the power.

2. Tip, just a few dollars, especially to the people who you will be encountering every day. Especially if you leave a list for the maids to stock your minibar, leave $3-$5 each day and they will give you what you want. A little goes a long way and a few dollars here and there can really help make your vacation more enjoyable.

3. Don’t forget your toiletries/sunscreen, etc. While the resort provides, soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc., my wife wanted better conditioner. The shop at the resort is overpriced, for a bottle of conditioner and one other small item it was $25!!!

4. Go to the spa, at least once, you won’t regret it.

Overall, we had a great, romantic, relaxing honeymoon at PPR, it was a perfect place for a 5 day trip.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank mtchawk45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2009

Myself and g/f traveled to the Paradisus Palma Real - Royal Service Monday May 25, 2009 for 4 nights / 5 days. This was an escape from the Pittsburgh area and a much needed relaxation period. I'd like to emphasize that this review is based on the ROYAL SERVICE, at the main Paradisus Palma Real, as it has no bearing on what the Reserve is like.

Arrival at Punta Cana Airport: There is no way around this, the airport is a nightmare. It's beautiful in the tiki hut setting, but the staff are simply scary. The second you disembark and make your way into the baggage claim, all heck breaks lose. There is an army of at least 40 baggage men just waiting for you to pull your baggage off the rail. The second you do, they swoop in and drag you to wherever you 'try' and tell them you're going. To make matters worse here, the Coco-Tours shuttle that was prepaid on Orbitz was insulting. The clerk at the mini tiki hut finds our name, walks us outside to another army of shuttle drivers, and that driver walked us to a far off lonely shuttle. He puts us in, starts the van, and walks away. The techno was blaring, we were alone, and sat in this shuttle for 25 minutes. He actually turned out to be waiting for more people to take with us. Once he found another couple, we had waited 40 minutes in the shuttle. Conveniently, the same worker from the tiki hut jumps in too and we drop him off at home!

Check-in: We arrived around 4:20 in the evening as our flight didn't land until 3pm. I believe check-in time is normally 3pm anyway so this didn't matter much. Being we were arriving last from most parties that day, I anticipated getting a not so great room or shanty service, but this was just not the case. We arrived in our Coco Tours shuttle (Not recommended) and immediately were carted off down the beautiful marble floors to the Royal Service Lounge. There we were greeted by a staff member, seated immediately, and then received all of the information on the incidental fee, bracelets, etc. See my review on the Royal Service lounge later.

Our Room: We stayed in room 1107 in the Royal Service wing. It was a beautiful walk across the main pool, through the Royal Service pool, and just inside the hallway on the 1st floor. We had a nice garden view which didn't matter much, as it was 95 with humidity all week the last thing we wanted was to bake outside on the patio! The inside was immaculate, well arranged, and very welcoming. The usual were in the room - flat screen tv, radio, refrigerator stocked well, jacuzzi, etc. Whomever placed reviews about the bathroom offering no privacy, ignore them. The fact is the shutters close behind the jacuzzi which seals off most of the bathroom, enough said! The shower was great, good water pressure. The jacuzzi felt fabulous, and considering I'm 6'2 it was a great surprise to see that I could lay comfortably in it. The beds were extremely comfortable as were the pillows. There was also incense in the room which helped the minor musty smell which you get on very humid days.

Royal Service: This for us was positively absolutely worth it! I can't say enough about it other than you get what you pay for. Our butler was Ana, and we were smart enough on day 1 to give her our reservation requests for the entire week in regards to restaurants and alcohol preference in the refrigerator. That night, our reservations were set and our frig was stocked as requested! The turn down service felt great, as you return to your room and have the sheets folded down, useless pillows set aside, slippers and floormats on each side of the bed, and if requested the jacuzzi filled with candles! The Royal Service Pool we didn't use very much, as there seemed to be a # of drunk individuals priding themselves in the privacy. The Royal Service bar however was WELL worth it entirely. Francisco was our bar tender all week and he did phenominal. There was not a drink we didn't taste, nor did we ever wait more than 30 seconds for drinks. The Royal Service Beach was amazing. We didn't even have to have our butler reserve beds, it was always half empty and ALWAYS had a waiter getting us drinks. Everyone was happy, polite, and more than happy to please us. If you didn't have a drink in your hand anywhere, they made sure you would get one!

Restaurants: Our first night we ate at Passions. The small romantic aura was nice, however the food wasn't exactly worth the trip. Granted it was great as all inclusive food, it was just different in taste to our usual likes. We also ate at Bana, the sushi there is literally out of this world. Everyone we spoke to loved it as did we. You will crave this sushi the second you get home. Our favorite restaurant of them all was Ghabi Beach, next to the far pool along the beach. Royal Service guests ate here entirely free every day, and we took full advantage of it for lunch! The chicken quesadillas and chicken w/ potato lunch was well worth it, you must try it! I'm not sure why people complained so badly about the all inclusive buffet. We ate here for breakfast and lunch on a few occasions and found the exceptional variety of food to be excellent. Granted we don't eat everything they offered, we played it safe on this trip and ate things we KNEW wouldn't make us sick at home let alone over seas. Use your head folks, if it isn't someting you normally eat anywhere, chances are trying it elsewhere will not be smart!

The Resort: Amazing, beautiful, luxury. I can't put into words how large and attractive this resort is. When we got there, roughly 1 day after a week of rain, we were told there were weddings everyday, as well as while we were there. The resort is definitely geared toward couples and newly weds. Everyone thought we just got married as we seemed to be the rarity of just a bf/gf on vacation. The floors and walls were entirely marble or stone throughout the entire resort, it was just breath taking. The grounds are huge, we got lost walking on a humid day for about 45 minutes it's that big. The gym is small but has most things normal people need, we didn't make it to the spa, and the pools were nothing less than awesome. They're so large that we had half of any pool to ourself the entire week. The architecture is worth admiring, everything is perfect considering it's in the Dominican Republic, I felt like I was in a mini vegas resort.

Tipping: Use common sense. Like I said, you get what you pay for. Granted this is all inclusive and sure, you don't need to pay for anything, you better choose to do so! How would you like to work every day 11 days on, 3 days off and not be tipped a dime? We tipped every single possible person we encountered, whether it be for getting us a drink, carrying something, cleaning a room, whatever the case may be a minimum of $2.00 and sometimes $5.00. Every time I got a drink at the bar, $2.00 tipped. If anyone thinks you can't afford that, consider that at home in the US you pay about $30 for the bar tab plus $10 if you add on more tip. This was like a free drinking vacation no matter what you tipped! I must say, winning $139 on the plane ride playing the money game was a bonus!

Staff: Our hats off to Royal Service Pool Bartender Fransisco who knew all US drinks we wanted. For entertainment you just can't beat Naftili in the Main Lobby Bar, top floor, he was able to replicate Tom Cruise in the movie cocktail with his juggling acts. Our Butler Ana, everything we asked for was done immediately, granted nothing was done without us asking which would've been flattering, but everything we wanted we had! Waiter, just an awesome waiter, his name is Benjamin. You can't miss him if you see him, h e's about 6'3 and nice as can be.

Royal Service Conclusion: Yes, it's worth it. Of course you better plan on treating people great and tipping, you'll get back the same amount of respect and luxury! The Royal Service lounge was great on hot days with the air conditioning, as outside was 95. All day there were hot and cold snacks, sandwiches, and even boiled salmon in there! There is an espresso machine which had us addicted, a large TV with sitting area, and 4 internet enabled computers we visited often. Make no mistake folks, we were told by people who had regular wrist bands that they had nowhere near as good of a time as those in Royal Service due to reservations and pampering. Simply put, if you can afford it, we found it MADE our vacation.

Shopping: We visited the resorts own Palma Real Village shopping mall. It was a nice 1 hour visit, a few interesting stores, and if you are looking for more gift shops such as the one in the resort, they are here! You will find a lot more gifts to take home than what's in the resort shop itself.

Travel Tips: Go with an open mind and expect the worse like we did. Knowing a lot of people left reviews about poor food and service, we didn't expect much, therefor we were blown away by what we received! Tip the staff, it pays for itself trust me, everyone remembers your name. Try all the pools, if ones crowded you will find another to be empty. Take at least $100 in one dollar bills, that's about all you'll need along with a few $5 bills. Have fun!

Conclusion: I would definitely without hesitation go back to this resort with a significant other. The weddings we walked by were beautiful, fireworks a plus. The grounds are breathtaking, and the luxury pampering made our trip. If you can deal with hell at the airport then making it to the resort is heaven on earth. Noone will have a perfect time, but go with an open mind and make your own review. For everyone one bad review there are at least 5 great experiences, take it from us!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Twibes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2009

We normally go to Iberostar but decided to try something new for our honeymoon. What a mistake!! We stayed at the Paradisus Palma Real - the Reserve which is supposed to be an upscale, exclusive part of the property w/full mini bar, 24 hr room service, daily concierge service, and sooo much more. Boy, we were misled. Our mini bar was stocked twice in the 8 days that we were there. I had items stolen from me (cell phone and necklace), the room service NEVER got our orders right and we waited HOURS for the food to get there. Certain restaurants wouldn't even be open on some nights and the staff wouldn't know from day to day which restaurants/buffets would be open on any given day. Everyone hovered expecting to be tipped CONSTANTLY. The food was beyond horrible for an all inclusive.
We went to the Thai Fusion restaurant and the rice was raw, the next night we went to the steak restaurant and there was a fliy in our dessert. To make matters worse, if you complained, very few people cared or even attempted to fix the matter. Again, I've traveled to all inclusive resorts before but this was by far the worst experience of our lives and a complete and total waste of our money. I have to agree w/the other reviewer that the casino was beyond sad, it was small and just uninspiring. There was very little to do on the property itself (another shock from other resorts that I've stayed at). And we heard people constantly flipping out at the management staff for poor service at the spa, bad food, and inconsistent service. Every once in a while you would meet a person that would prove that service was possible - Veralucia, Genaro, and Juan.

But overall, if you're going to spend the money, I would not recommend this resort..

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Divalatina73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2009

My vacation to Paradisus Palma Real was AMAZING! I had read some bad reviews before going and cannot believe that anyone could have one bad thing to say. From the very moment I got there, to the very end, everyone was so nice and accommodating. Also, I traveled alone and it was very safe. I was a little worried about that, but no one bothers you, especially since it's mostly couples.

RESORT: very clean. There are a couple of pools, one being very big. The pools have beds in them with tables for your drinks. I thought this was a nice touch so you don't have to tread water. Some are even covered by huts. I got Royal Service (worth the money!) so I mostly stayed at the RS pool. I enjoyed it b/c it was quieter and there were no kids. Also, the RS beach seemed to have more bali beds under huts which are conducive to sleeping. The beach was clean and the water great. There were butlers walking around asking if you needed anything. The bars were plenty and stocked with top shelf if that's what you like.

ROOMS: also very clean. I was worried I might see a cockroach, and I didn't see one. My room had a jacuzzi which the staff prepared for me every night. There was a flat screen TV, mini bar, and patio. There is plenty of water, juice, and soda stocked in the room, but if you need more, just call and they'll be right there. I also ordered the scented pillows which were a nice touch.

FOOD: I mostly ate at the Gabi Beach restaurant which I really liked. The salads were great. The breakfast is by far the best meal - and I never ate at the RS one. The fruit is the best I've ever had. I did eat at Passion and Tempaki but really liked being outside better. Take advantage of the smoothie bar open all day.

ACTIVITIES: There were plenty, but I didn't do any of them since I wanted a week of doing nothing but sitting in the sun. They looked like fun though.

NIGHTLIFE: Not much of one. I wasn't going for the nightlife at all. If you are, you might want to try Aruba. From what I heard at the airport, none of the resorts had nightlife.

OTHER TIPS: The punta cana airport is very easy to navigate. Just have your papers ready when you get off the plane. I took a cab to the Palma Real which was $30. They drive like nut cases, but that's how it is.

If you have any questions, please email me thru this sit. I'd be happy to answer them.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank victoria314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2009

I don't know what happened to NewYorkGin, on of the last reviewers but it doesn't sound like we even stayed at the same place. Musty rooms? Bathroom for all to see? I guess they didn't see the pocket doors that close the bathroom from the rest of the unit. Paying for internet? I guess they missed all the computers by reception that were free for all to use and were always available. Horrible food? All the lobsters and shrimp we had were perfect not to mention the large ribeye steaks Miguel @ Hyro Grill would cook up. Anyways, here's our experience.

My husband and our 10 yr & 6 yr old kids were in The Reserve @ Palma Real from 4/11-4/19 in a 2nd fl, 1BR suite facing the pool. It was a long overdue vacation so you could imagine the stress level. It took us less than an hr to feel relaxed at this resort. From the very flowy uniforms of the reception staff and the blue frozen welcome drink followed by lunch @ Gabi Club by the pool with the funky lounge type music playing throughout the Bose speakers. It was exactly what we were hoping for. Oh, you know you're somewhere extra special when you go the restroom off the entrance and you find washclothes to dry you're pretty little hands. Luxe all the way.

Check in with Margarita was flawless & all smiles. We met our concierge at the time as well. She arranged the sofabed be open for my son at the time we requested later that night.

The suite was more like a mini apt. 800sqft. . The alarm clock charges your Ipod. The livingroom has a dvd player and radio. There are 2 flatscreens and the one from the bedroom can be heard over the bathroom's speaker. ( There is a knob in the bathroom that seemed not to do anything. We figured it out a day later that it was the volume!) There are also 2 lamps that we couldn't figure out why they didnt' turn off with the light switch and that's because they turn off right from the cord! The pullout sofa that my son slept on was not your regular sofa bed. It was more like a futon. Firm and quite comfortable. No springs. It was kept open all wk since staff had to open it. Minibar was stocked with Presidente beer, sodas, water, orange juice and chocolate milk that I requested for my daughter. The bathroom was stocked with ETRO products from Italy. So you have soap, shampoo, bath gel, lotion, toothbrush, shaving kit, shower cap and Q-tips. The towels are full size thick bath sheets. Yes, there are washclothes here. Plenty of hangers in the closets along with an iron, ironing board and even an umbrella in case it rains! Did I forget to mention the robes and slippers? The balcony is quite large aside from the jacuzzi you have a small sofa and chair with a table.

I'm happy to say we ate at all the sit down restaurants while we were there but unfortunately our concierge only confirmed 2 of them. She was very sweet but I think me being Dominican might have given her the impression that I was going to be OK with whatever she got me. Not the case. We joined another couple on their reservation @Passion, arranged one with a waiter for Aqua, and the rest were by reception. No biggie with that. I didn't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to this. It might have been 3PM for next day meal.

Re: Restaurants -Most of the restaurants are @Palma Real but that was OK. It was like going to "eat out". Re: kids menu. There isn't one. And frankly I'm glad there wasn't any chicken nuggets & fries on the menus because as parents we need to teach our kids how to eat. I laughed when I heard a woman complain about that. I welcomed the opportunity to have my kids try new things here and ALL the waiters were very accommodating at the sit down rest. when I asked to mix things up from the menu. ie. At Vento instead of the trio of pastas I just needed a larger one and added chicken. At Market Grill-that day my daughter wanted fries and when I told her it wasn't on the menu the waiter went to the buffet next door & got her some. My son got a half roasted chicken but was being a pain in the *&& and didn't want to bother cutting it. The waiter noticed and without me asking him he took it away and it came back de-boned. Totally unexpected and very much appreciated because I wanted to get back to my awesome surf and turf and glass of wine!
Market Grill got alot of "no shows" from what reception had told me but other than it not having the same "chic" flair the others have & being open air I can't understand why anyone would miss this one. I enjoyed the lobster better here than at the adult only Passions where the mashed potatoes were barely warm and the lobster didn't have the same sheen. Our dining companions had the same lukewarm experience but chose not to reheat. Passions had an accapella bunch of waiters serenade and they were very good. Bana Teppanyaki- was alot of fun and very good. Super fresh shrimps & amazing colossal size scallops. Not impressed with their brownie for dessert...dry.
We did Gabi Beach, overlooking the beach, twice. Once for dinner & the other for lunch without the kids. Again, my kids were able to eat something from the dinner menu without a problem. The Chilean wine flowed and mom & dad were happy with yes..more lobster & meats. Service was impeccable. Lunch was totally relaxing and my husband's shrimp cocktail was colossal.
Open air Hydro Grill @ Reserve pool-lightly seasoned & well cooked large ribeyes, fish, nachos, grilled chicken and something similar to chimichangas among other choices were very good. Miguel, chef, was very accomodating to my kids when they would ask for chili cheese fries and even tried to trick them into eating fish disguised as possible chicken nuggets. It didn't work here but it did at Naos buffet! Naos and Agave was the same restuarant-buffet style. We found service here to be a bit rushed so not the same high level & personal service we had begun to get use to. I guess the volume of people eating here had alot to do with it. More than enough to choose from. Very good desserts here and homemade ice cream.
Gabi Club @Reserve-Breakfast, lunch & sometimes dinner. There were a few days that it was closed for lunch or dinner due to too few guests. Breakfast was a constant of caviar, salmon, assorted international cheeses, fresh baked rolls and breads (all baking done on premises), assorted fresh squeezed tropical juices/fruits and then you're regular american fare of eggs, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal & ceral. There's even mashed potatoes & plantains with stewed meats (Yes, not the American thing but definitely the Dominican thing to eat for breakfast-it preps for their hard labor) Forgot the chilled champagne and vodka. Yes, at 7AM!
Service was spot on and if you left a tip it was very much appreciated considering these workers make an average of $225 dollars a MONTH!
Aqua @Reserve- very chic, mirrored tables. Had the shrimp and duck. Excellent. I think the kids had risotto here for the 1st time and liked it.

Re: Spa OMG. Absolute Heaven. ZEN like. The outdoor showers...SENSUOUS!!! The ones between the sauna and steam room have a smoked glass door. The ones off the treatment rooms, no door but you have total privacy. You're just surrounded by greenery. Think Adam & Eve. Water ritual-( powerful jets) relaxing. My husband enjoyed his reflexology & massage with Maria I enjoyed Durubina for my massage & mud treatment.
Afterwards, collapse on their open air thatched roof bed. Heaven!! P.S. I liked it better than the one @ the main hotel from the looks of it only.

Re:Gym I loved it. I had my own "trainers" that gave me tips and worked out with me when I needed it. It had everything you need. Small but well equipped.

Re: Kidzone My kids loved loved it! Carlos has a very good temperment. They spent alot more time here after they had their fill of sun & pool with us. This is a building all their own and just outside there was the kids pool with beautiful animated slides. They had a lounge with flatscreen, a counter to eat lunch, a room for computer use, another for video games, rock climbing, bungee cord jumping, air hockey, table tennis and jungle gym outside. There was a seperate huge room for kids up to 5 yrs old I believe. And they had activities throughout the day inside and out aside from nightly Kid activities so mom/dad could get a break. They're open from 10-6 then had the nightly activity. My son made his own souvenir mask here and they went on their Manatee Park trip. That day we went to pick them up at 3PM and they shoo-ed us away telling us to come back a 6! No PROBLEM.

Re: Service. We loved that wherever we went the bartenders, waiters would ask what'd you'd like followed by if you want something just ask. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean we can't get it. That level of service and genuine desire to please was absolutely wonderful. If you were lover of a particular drink you could bet that Santos, the Reserve pool bartender would be putting it together for you when he saw you again. The workers we encountered at this resort were quite intelligent and interested in learning more (not just English )eventhough they were very competent compared to other resorts I've been to. One thing remains true, Americans also need to learn a second language don't you think? Why are we so arrogant to expect everyone to speak English?

Atmosphere @ Reserve is very calming and low key BUT you always have the option of Palma Real for the later bar hours, casinos, & nightly entertainment. If drinking is your thing you can drink from 7A til 2AM when the disco bar closes. But who does that? If you want to eat at all hours, there is always 24hr room service which was prompt & steak sandwiches DELICIOUS. My son prefers the club sand.

Yes, you have a 10 mi walk to beach or a 2 mi tram ride. But once you're there you go to the roped off area @ Gabi Beach & enjoy the bartender coming up to you to take your drink order. Hellooo, is that not worth it?! No need to "save" loungers or beds here or the pool area @ the Reserve either. There is more than enough to choose from. (A little different than what we saw and heard @ the main resort during Easter week.)

So all you potential Reserve guests.... ENJOY!!! You will not regret your decision!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank My2KidsNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2009

I had read so many reviews on this place and it is easy to feel confused. However we have traveled to several all-inclusive resorts in the Bahamas, Mexico and Dominican Republic so we feel qualified to make an assessment. We selected this resort based on an upgrade to the Reserve Section that was available through Orbitz. We found VERY little to be upset about and PLENTY to love!

There is a part of the Hotel called the Reserve, which is a smaller and newer resort within the resort. We were upgraded to the Reserve and didn’t understand why it might be better than the main hotel. The Reserve is NOT near the beach. Even though we went back and forth to the main hotel and beach a lot, I still recommend the Reserve if it is within the budget. You can easily catch a ride to the beach from the golf cart shuttle that goes back and forth constantly. If you want to walk (we timed it) it takes 8 minutes from the main hotel. The pool at the Reserve is so nice and so huge it is easy to find peace and quiet on the many beach beds and loungers. Also if you are staying at the Reserve you can access Gabi Beach and Club. This is great because there are no vendors pestering you there- they aren’t allowed. Gabi Beach has it’s own security guard – we left all our belongings and went swimming etc. with no worries. The lunch at Gabi Beach club is the best we found. If you are in the main hotel there is an additional charge to use the Gabi Beach Club.

Resort: Beautiful and clean – really! The décor is modern and sophisticated without the typical tacky “island décor”. The whole place is nicely lit with a very breezy feel. The rooms were gorgeous and spotless. The grounds were lovely and immaculate. The fitness center at Reserve was very nice. And all the restaurants, lounges, and common areas were really nice, well furnished, and tasteful. The plaza at the main hotel is a great place to have a cocktail and people watch before dinner.

Service: First some reviews complain about the rudeness of the employees, I think it goes without saying that you get what you give. With a few exceptions we had excellent service throughout the trip. Our concierge, Gernardo, was truly superb. He even called us on his day off to check in on us. He left us a lovely surprise in our on our last night, a trail of flower petals that lead us to a bottle of chilled champagne and a lovely Jacuzzi. Some other reviews have complaints about their concierge, but we just really appreciated Genardo and his no pressure approach and the pride he took in his profession. Oh yeah- he didn’t pressure us about a timeshare. (That is going on in the Main Hotel – we know we got accosted a couple times on our way through to the beach. Be polite and firm and say NO).

Some reviewers complain that if you don’t speak Spanish you will have a hard time, just remember that Spanish is the language of the country after all. If you would like to learn they have daily basic Spanish class. But don’t fret, most all of the staff speak enough English to ensure you get what you need.

Food: Okay here it is. The food here is MUCH better than any other all-inclusive we have stayed at, EVER- but that is not saying a lot! But being American, we have some pretty high standards and access to great food every day, so I don’t want to be harsh. Each time we have been in the Caribbean we realize that vegetables for example aren’t as plentiful as we would like, you don’t expect fabulous salads, and if there is mashed potatoes- they are usually going to be the instant kind. The food variety and preparation were okay to pretty good, but nothing was spectacular. The presentation of the food here was great, the staff formally trained, but the actual taste of the food, well didn’t live up to it’s potential. We tried every restaurant in the place. Try to make an effort to actually do some of the a la carte restaurants. This does require a reservation in advance but the food is much better when it is a la carte than the buffets. (In general we found the seafood and chicken dishes to be better-prepared and higher quality)

They have top shelf liquor and will make you anything you ask for but each bar has a drink menu with specialty drinks.

So the food wasn’t the greatest in the world but we are already planning a trip back next year and plan to stay in the Reserve. It was one of the most relaxing vacations I have ever had. I would recommend this resort if you are going to Punta Cana!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank monkeyhead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort

Address: Playas De Bavaro | Playa de Bavaro, Punta Cana 23301, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#11 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 Green Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £216 - £603 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 554
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the epitome of resort elegance. Paradisus Palma Real Resort envelops you in privileged comfort and simply astonishing beauty. Discover crystal Caribbean waters, pristine beaches, towering palm trees, stunning gardens and magnificent architecture. Delight in sumptuous private Suites, championship golf, seven world-class international restaurants and stunning pools lined with exotic Bali beds. An all-encompassing paradise of grace, elegance and charm located 25 minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paradisus Palma Real Hotel Punta Cana
Paradisus Palma Real Punta Cana
Paradisus Punta Cana
Paradisus Palma Real Resort
Punta Cana Paradisus
Paradisus Hotel Punta Cana

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