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“Incredible location and fantastic service”

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The Palace at Playa Grande
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Rio San Juan
Frisco, tx
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Incredible location and fantastic service”
Reviewed 10 July 2014

As soon as we drove in from the long 4 hour drive from santo Domingo (we couldn't find route 7 aka new toll road) we were greeted at the door by a waiter, Felix and security. I didn't have to check in or give them any info because apparently there was only one other couple in the hotel. They gave us the choices for dinner and lead us to our room to freshen up. I was amazed at the beautiful interior of the hotel and our large room that faced the ocean. They upgraded my room without a charge I'm guessing due to the low amount of guest. I could not believe how well we had been treated in the first 15 min. Felix told us not to worry and relax, he'd wait until we were done with dinner to tell us about possible excursions. We chose an all day excursion one of the days we were there. The other days were spent on the gorgeous beach below the balaji palace, playa grande and playa grande golf course. This hotel was more than expected. The beautiful gardens, the vibrant colors of the ocean, the sunset dinners, the wonderful food, the wait staff that treated us like royalty and the peace I felt as soon as I walked in surpasses any hotel we've ever been on. I couldn't stop taking photos. Juan Carlos was such a genuine person. He worried that the broken pump in the pool was a diappointment. Honestly, we didn't even think much about the pool with such a beautiful beach at our diposal. The eletricity cut out one night during dinner for 30 min leaving us with a very dim candlelight dinner. Our first night there we had an 83 degree room which left us both with no sleep. The maids were kind enough to put a fan in there and the waiter made sure to Maintance was notified. Small issues that were completly forgotten a soon as we realized what a little peace of heaven the balaji palace really is. I can't wait to go back!!!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Freo520630
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
NYC
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

If you are looking to get away from the world this place may be perfect. Located on a relatively underpopulated part of the North Coast, this magnificent property has a serene feel to it. The views and service are excellent.
A few noteworthy points from our stay:
1. The place gets locked up at night so if you are arriving late make sure to warn them ahead of time.
2, The beach is very pretty but even during low tide I would not recommend that anyone but good level-headed swimmers go far into the water because of the wave action. Thre is a pool on the property.
3. The internet connection is satellite based so during bad weather there was a long spell where it was absent. On the positive side, not having access to email may make one more relaxed.
4. If you want calmer water for swimming there is a beach about 5 mins driving west of the hotel with calmer waters. At the same time, about 7 mins driving east will get you to beautiful Playa Grande.
5. There is a ping pong table, pool table a tv etc, but don't expect to go out at night - there is nothing around with any night life.

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
8 Thank yk13_nyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new jersey
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2014

My wife and I stayed there in early february for a week. On one night we were the only guests in th hotel. No dimunition of service...two waiters, a chef, nightly turn down and playing pool with the security guard.
The architecture, the views, the ambience and the service all deserve five stars. Waiters, who also make drinks, Felipe, Xavier and Charlie went out of our way to make things special. When we asked if they ever did lobster, Felipe said they might not be able to do it that night but the next night we feasted on large delicious lobster. When we asked about a specific beverage that they didnt have, the next night it was there.
The manager, Juan Carlos, continually asked about our experience and what they could do t
make it better. Ramona, one of the chambermaids, didnt speak much English but she also helped
make our stay special, particularly when she would show up every evening with our clean llaundry...yes it is included.
and the near bye Playa Grande golf course. Unfortunately, not at its best, because of a renovation process being overseen by Rees Jones, the son of the original architect, Robert Trent Jones, but nonetheless one of the most spectacular courses anywhere. Wilson would drive us and pick us up...also included.
all in all, a near perfect vacation

Room Tip: A slight upgrade pays dividends.. but the experience is the hotel.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank lawnorman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2014

The Balaji Palace at Playa Grande is the perfect spot for those seeking a getaway at a smaller, quieter, more personal resort. The grounds and interior are well kept and absolutely beautiful. We stayed in one of the cliff side suites which had an amazing view of the water. We had breakfast brought to us twice on our little balcony near the spiral staircase. While the views and private nature of the cliff side suite was wonderful, the waves could be a little noisy. I myself love going to sleep to the sound of a babbling stream, but the ocean waves sometimes kept me awake.
The service was wonderful. We couldn't have asked for friendlier, more accommodating people. From the moment you arrive, you are taken care of and anything you wish, from dinner overlooking the ocean to laundry service, is taken care of.
Lots of fun activities nearby. Went for an excursion to Monkey Jungle which has zip lines and an enclosed monkey habitat. We had no idea what we were getting into with the zip lines but had absolute blast. You actually hike to 7 or 8 different zip lines and get to see lots of pretty scenery. The monkey enclosure was wonderful as well. It's a large fenced area with a heard of spider monkeys. They are soft, cute, and lighter than cats. You are given food so they will jump on you to get fed. It was a little unnerving at first but we quickly got used to it. Afterwards we went to a very late lunch in the nearby town of Sosua. There is a great beach there with shops and cafes. We had an excellent meal of fish while sitting outside watching the waves (great people watching here).
We also took a horse trip with Rancho Paraiso. My wife had never been on a horse before and I had only ridden on U.S. style horseback trips, (i.e. your horse just follows the one in front and gets pretty boring). This was nothing of the sort. We were actually controlling our horses for speed and direction. Got to see a lot of countryside and towns of the “real” Dominican. The owner/ guide (Abe) was wonderful and offered up all kinds of interesting tidbits. We did the ride which starts in the mountains and ends at the beach. Highly recommend this one. Once down at the beach you get to let your horse run. WHAT A THRILL!!!
The beach at the hotel is small and secluded but mostly pretty wavy. Great for walking around and taking pictures of waves splashing up behind you. We had someone from the hotel take us to Playa Grande beach which is a couple miles up the road. Great little area with souvenir and food vendors. Beach is broad and wide here. We were “adopted” by a pack of 4 feral Dominican dogs. Made us a little nervous at first but they were extremely friendly and followed us as we walked along the beach. They sat with us for an extended period as they dug and hunted for sand crabs. As friendly as they are, please don’t feed the animals you encounter.
Food at the hotel was typically very good. Not super gourmet but always creative and tasty. The soups in particular were very good.
One day of our trip was rainy and we spent the entirety lounging around the resort reading. It’s a beautiful place so even that was wonderful.
Great swimming pool with a lazy river. Nothing beats sipping a beer in the pool on a warm day.
Beautiful, quiet, relaxing, great people. Would definitely come back here.
Lastly, Presidente beer is simple yet superb. I need to work on getting it distributed to Minneapolis!

Room Tip: Cliff side suites have great views but waves can keep you awake if you're not used to them.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank emor37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
vancouver
Level 6 Contributor
88 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2014

Just when you thought Dominican Republic couldn't get any better you stumble across a Gem like The Palace. We stayed at The Palace for 3 nights and they were unforgettable. It has huge spacious rooms that were beautifully decorated in traditional east Indian style. The staff was amazing from the wonderful manager and waiters right down to the very friendly ladies that serviced our rooms. It has a giant pool that accommodates people of all heights and ages perfect for families. The view is breath taking as you look down upon the hotels own private beach or the nearby cliffs of Playa Grande. After inner they also have many amenities for entertainment such as a very nice pool table a ping pong table and a verity of different games again perfect for families. The only negative was the food when traditional Dominican food was served it was perfect but any thing from outside the countries cuisine such a steak ribs etc. was over cooked and under seasoned however we were asked by the owner himself and the manager what our opinion of the food was and when we gave our honest opinion we were told that it would be perfect by the next time we visited and visit again we will in the very near future.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank munecap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2014

We went for a 4 night package in February and had a fabulous time! The place was absolutely stunning and definitely not your average all-inclusive. If you are looking for someplace peaceful, private, unique and beautiful, this is it.

The Palace itself was stunning with a beautiful private beach, amazing views of the ocean, jacuzzi, lovely pool and nice rooms. It was one of the most unique places I have ever stayed in (and I travel for a living) and the staff--Javier and Felipe in particular--made us feel right at home. The attention to detail was wonderful, right down to making us sandwiches to take to the airport unasked and remembering to make me one without bacon on it!

Usually it takes me days to unwind on holidays, but somehow on my second afternoon there I found myself napping in the sun and feeling as relaxed as I usually do after an entire week of holidays.

We are planning our next trip already...

Room Tip: The only thing I would change there is to have doors on the bathrooms--it was a bit unusual to find...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kristen444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2013

I went here with a group of friends who had all purchased the Groupon. We didn't know what to expect, and I was very pleasantly surprised. This is definitely a luxury resort, and the privacy, the wonderful service, amazing meals and gorgeous views were way more than I expected from a resort in the Dominican Republic. We had 5 star dining every night, first-class service, and Charlie was always on hand with his famous rum punch. We were catered to completely, even so far as the waiters bringing snacks and drinks down to the beach for us. Our group was the only one at the palace most of the time and so we played our ipod music at the pool bar every day. The beach at the hotel was a little rough some of the days we were there, but we went to Caleton beach for wonderful snorkeling and did a few other day trips, and we went dancing in town every night. All in all, this was one of the best vacations I have ever been on and we all had a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Candace S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Palace at Playa Grande

Property: The Palace at Playa Grande
Address: Calle Rio San Juan | Playa Grande, Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Maria Trinidad Sanchez Province > Rio San Juan
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Rio San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Palace at Playa Grande 4*
Number of rooms: 13
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Also Known As:
The Palace At Playa Grande Hotel Rio San Juan

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