C/ El Cortecito, Playa Bávaro, Punta Cana
"good place to go"
Posted by: clarke on Jul 10, 2014
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The Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladium is an exclusive hotel located within the Grand Palladium Punta Cana Complex Resorts & Spa. The concept of The Royal Suites is a differentiated care with personalized service for adults only. Enjoy privacy, relaxation and tranquility in this luxurious resort.
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"Grand Palladium Resort is a great spot for families, singles, and couples."
Debbie on Oct 1, 2007 >
Visited on: Oct, 2007
366 people found this review helpful
October 21 - 28, 2007
Airports and Flights:
We flew Air Transat out of Toronto. We purchased the Club Transat upgrade, and it is well worth it. The upgrade gives you big seats, with a separate checkin at both airports. Your luggage is given priority, first off the plan and you are allowed twice the baggage allowance. With Club Transat you can have unlimited drinks, a menu with 4 dinner choices, free snacks, free headphones, etc. We actually had good flight times going down, leaving Toronto at 10:20 a.m. and arriving in Punta Cana at 2:30 p.m.
When we got to the terminal building there were, as usual, two girls and a photographer waiting to take pictures, which you can view and purchase when you leave. Went through customs, our luggage was first off and we were out of the airport in 15 minutes. There are porters waiting to take your baggage as you exit the airport, it is easiest to just let them take it and give them a few dollars. A $30.00 U.S. cab ride and we arrived at Grand Palladium Royal Suites. If you are planning to take a taxi to your hotel, be specific about the name of the hotel, the taxi driver confirmed with us a couple of times that it was Palladium Royal Suites we were going to - so many hotels in the area have similar names or different sections. It is about half an hour from Punta Cana Airport.
Location and overview of Grand Palladium Complex:
The Grand Palladium complex is located centrally in Bavaro, with the village of El Cortecito to the right of it, and Occidental Flamenco Resort to the left of it. It has 1 kilometer of beachfront, and the resort is built on 320,000 square metres, so even if the resort is completely full it wouldn't seem crowded. The resort was built in 1992 and was previously known as Fiesta Hotels, but in 2004 and 2005 underwent major renovations and was upgraded to their premium Palladium brand. It is comprised of 3 resorts – Grand Palladium Bavaro, Grand Palladium Punta Cana, and Grand Palladium Palace, which has the separate Adults Only (18 years and over) Royal Suites section, with its own lobby, pool and beach area. Each section has its own lobby and pool (there are two pools in the Punta Cana section).
Guests staying in the Bavaro, Punta Cana, and Palace sections are free to use any of the facilities on the property, except for the Royal Suites section. Royal Suites guests can use any facilities on the property.
Grand Palladium Bavaro is the largest section, with 636 rooms comprised of 349 Junior suites, 33 Romance Suites and 254 Superior rooms, in 62 2-storey bungalows of 8 rooms each and 5 two-storey villas of 28 rooms each.
Grand Palladium Punta Cana is the middle section, with 451 rooms, comprised of 243 deluxe rooms and 12 junior suites in 3 buildings of 85 rooms each, and 14 loft suites (junior suites with two levels) and 182 deluxe rooms in 7 villas of 28 rooms.
Grand Palladium Palace was built in 1996 and totally renovated in 2004. It consists of 504 rooms, comprised of 202 superior double rooms and 78 loft suites (24 of which are honeymoon suites), in 14 two-storey villas of 20 rooms, and 6 junior suites and 78 superior double rooms in 3 two-storey villas of 28 rooms.
The Royal Suites was built in 2004 and consists of 124 junior suites, 15 honeymoon suites, and 1 Presidential suite, located in 3 three-storey buildings forming a horseshoe shape around the pool. All rooms have at least a partial view of the beach.
I had the opportunity to see some of the different room types in the Palladium complex. All the rooms have been renovated in the last few years and look like new. They have some different types of rooms, ie. Loft suites in the Punta Cana or Palace sections have a second storey bedroom accessed by stairs with one king or two doubles, that is open to the entire room. On the ground floor there is a sitting area with a queen-size pullout couch, and full bathroom with jacuzzi tub. In the Bavaro section there are Junior suites that can accept a family of 5, and Junior Suites that have an adjoining deluxe room for larger families. In the Bavaro section only, pay-per-view movies, sports, and video games are available. The Bavaro section also has Romance Suites that are for adults only - they are closest to the beach and have a private outdoor shower under a thatched roof as well as a hammock for two (these rooms are gorgeous!)
All rooms are a good size. Junior suites are 47.28 m2/510 sq. ft., Loft suites are 50.96 m2/548 sq. ft., and Deluxe(Superior) rooms are 30.33 m2/326 sq. ft. Royal Junior Suites are 41.08 m2/442 sq. ft., and Royal Honeymoon Suites are 51.65 m2/556 sq. ft.
Getting around the Resort:
Depending on which section you are in and where you want to go, it could be a very long walk. They have two trams that run around the resort every 20 – 30 minutes. This is the best way to get from one place to another. It stops at all the lobbies, the casino, the spa, and several other stops along the route. You are given a map of the resort when you check in, and there are “You are Here” maps posted at various places throughout the resort. For Royal Suites guests, it is a short walk to the Royal Gourmet Restaurant, Palace Lobby, and Casino. See the Map we have posted, it was submitted previously by one of our reviewers and shows the different sections of the resort, and is still the current map.
Check-In at Royal Suites - Adults Only (18+):
Although Royal Suites is considered part of the Palace, it has its own lobby. The lobby is smaller than the others and enclosed and air-conditioned.
Checkin is at 3 p.m., checkout is 12 noon (late checkouts may be available at additional charge). We were given VIP wristbands (I don’t think this entitled us to any extra services, though), towel cards, a map of the resort and information sheet, and our room keys (electronic key cards). One key operates the power in the room and must be inserted in the slot inside the door. Keep your keys in the sleeve they give you and don’t put them near the TV or phone or anything magnetic. We did have some issues with our keys and sometimes it would take 5 or 6 tries to open the door. The remote for the TV is in the room. Our room was located in the same building as the lobby, we were on the third floor, in a honeymoon suite, room 5142, and our luggage was brought to our room promptly. A fruit basket and bottle of rum was in our room.
Note there are no elevators anywhere in the Palladium complex.
The Honeymoon Suite was beautiful. It was on the third floor, right in the centre of the building, and we had a view of the whole Royal Suites section and the beach and ocean. It was very large, decorated in white tones, consisting of a king-size 4-poster bed, open-concept bathroom with double sinks, shower stall and toilet stall, as well as a living area with sofa, coffee table, desk, and table and chairs. There was no tub in the room, it was located out on the huge balcony – a large double Jacuzzi tub. Although we did use it a couple of times, I felt that it was not private enough, and would have rather had it in the room, or had a screen of some type on the balcony that you could pull for assurance of privacy.
The room had a telephone, coffee-maker, ice-bucket, satellite TV with a lot of English stations (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN Sports, Showtime, CNN, TNT, Discovery, BBC America, Cinemax, SciFi) – unfortunately the satellite signal seemed to go out frequently, probably because of the weather, so some channels weren’t always available. There was a basket in the bathroom containing bottles of shampoo and bath gel,shower cap, bath sponge, combs, makeup removal pads, razors, toothbrushes, no body lotion though. Bars of soap were very small, I was glad I had brought my own. There is no clock in the rooms. You can leave a wakeup call if you need to, but I prefer to bring my own travel alarm clock.
There is a mini fridge stocked with 2 large bottles of water, 1 bottle of Orange, Sprite, Coke, Coke light and 2 beer, one Presidente and one Bohemia. The mini fridge is restocked daily at Royal Suites, 3 times per week in the other sections of the resort. Bottled water is readily available at any of the bars, and in the Royal Suites you just have to go to the lobby and grab it out of the cooler there, which also contains pop and beer, as well as salads, fruit, and wraps if you’re looking for a late night snack.
We did receive facecloths most days, a couple days we did not. I always pack a couple of my own. Another thing I took this time was a nightlight, which came in handy.
There was also an ironing board and iron, bathrobes and slippers. There are no umbrellas in the rooms, which would have come in handy a couple of days we were there, but apparently they are available at reception if you ask for one.
There is a combination in-room safe, at no extra charge. I had brought my laptop with me, but I could not fit it into the safe. A smaller laptop may fit though.
Maid service was excellent, we tipped $3 a day and we had some wonderful towel art every day. Air-conditioning worked great, it was almost too cold sometimes and we used the blanket provided, there was also an extra pillow. There is no turn-down service provided in the evening.
The regular rooms in the Royal Suites section, Royal Junior Suites, are spacious (41.08 m2/442 sq. ft.)and include a king-size or two double beds, as well as the living area with sofa, open-concept Jacuzzi tub, and shower and toilet stalls.
I didn’t get to see the Presidential suite
Take U.S. currency, cash is best. You can pay for virtually everything in U.S. dollars, and even if you exchange your money for pesos at the front desk, you will get the best rate with U.S. dollars.
Grounds, Beach and Pool
The grounds and beach of this complex are beautiful. I was told they have 70 gardeners working there. The grounds are perfectly manicured and everything is kept very clean. The beach area in front of Royal Suites is reserved exclusively for Royal Suites guests. Lots of shade on the beach, - trees and palapas - they have recently added more palapas. There was never a problem finding a place to sit, any time of the day, although Royal Suites was only at about 45% occupancy when we were there, as were the Palace and Punta Cana sections. The Bavaro section was at 89% occupancy. Lots of guests from Europe – Spain, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Austria, not as many North Americans this time of year. Americans and Canadians are the majority during the winter season.
The Royal Suites pool is in the centre of the Royal Suites section. It has a walk-in entrance and integrated Jacuzzis (cold). There is a nice swimup bar. Towels are available at the activities centre by the beach. We alternated between sitting on the beach and around the pool. Both the ocean and the pool water were warm, it was beautiful.
The Royal Suites area is very quiet. There are no activities staff here, or loud music. If you want to join in activities you have to go to other areas of the resort or further down the beach. The activities staff come around once in a while to see if people are interested in joining an activity. There are listings of the activities available, with times and locations in the Royal Suites lobby. We were content to relax by the pool or beach and read a book (vacations are the only time I ever have time to read). If you run out of reading materials, there are books in the lobby that people have left, and we also left the ones we had finished with. Also available in the lobby each day are internet newspapers from various countries, they had the National Post. You can't take it out of the lobby, for an extra charge you can have a copy delivered to your room each day.
A photographer came around the pool area a couple of times to take pictures. He brought parrots the first time, and a snake the second time. I got as far away as I could.
Dolin Dive Center runs the watersports at the resort. The dive center is located at the beach at Grand Palladium Bavaro Included watersports are kayaks, catamaran (lessons extra), windsurfing (lessons extra, from $40 US) (1 hour per day). Here you can also book banana boat rides, waterskiing, parasailing ($45 US for 10 minutes, $85 US for 10 minutes tandem), snorkeling trips, glass bottom boat, speedboat trips, deep sea fishing, trip to Catalina Island, and Sunset boat tours. And of course dive instruction and trips are available.
You can also book deep sea fishing trips on the beach at El Cortecito, just go down the beach to your right from Royal Suites.
Bars and Drinks:
There are numerous bars throughout the complex:
Lobby bar Caoba – open 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Pool bar Boca Chica with swimup bar – open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cocktail Bar Hemingway – open 6 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. – very nice – air-conditioned and comfortable seating and music.
Punta Cana Section:
Lobby Bar Macao – open 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Pool bar Samana with swimup bar – open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Pool Bar Saona – open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Lobby Bar Guayacan – open from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Pool bar Barahona with swimup bar – open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Royal Suites Section:
Lobby Bar – open from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Swimup Bar at Royal Suites Pool – open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sports Bar – open 24 hours
Casino bar – open 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Plus 6 Bar kiosks along the beach, and bars in the two theatres and the disco.
Bars offer national drinks and some imported drinks (selection will vary from bar to bar). Beer is Presidente and Bohemia, sometimes they have Budweiser.
I mostly drink white wine and found the house wine pretty good after I got used to it. Also had a few Banana Mamas which were excellent.
Royal Suites guests have pool and beach bar service, so you don’t have to move if you don’t want to.
There are a number of dining options available. Overall, I would consider the food quality and choices available to be excellent, both in the buffet restaurants and the a la carte restaurants.
Royal Gourmet Restaurant:
Royal Suites guests have exclusive use of the Royal Gourmet Restaurant, which is enclosed and air-conditioned. It is all glass windows, very bright and clean-looking. In the morning watch where you sit or you may get the sun in your face.
The Royal Gourmet is open for breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. for breakfast and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner. It is not open at lunchtime. No reservations are required. Men must wear long pants at dinner. Note that there is no smoking in any of the enclosed restaurants on the property, only the open air restaurants have smoking areas.
There is an a la carte menu for breakfast and dinner, along with buffet items. We ate breakfast here several times. We would order off the menu and then check the buffet for anything else we wanted. Everything is served piping hot and was very good.
We ate dinner here twice. The first time we had the beef tenderloin, it was okay, but not great. The other time I had Churrasco (Argentine Flank steak), and Pat had Chicken Parmesan and it was very good. On Sundays, they have Lobster as a special, but since we don’t like lobster, we opted for the buffet that night. Each day has a special listed, but most items are available every day. They had copies of the menus for each day posted in the lobby of Royal Suites, basically the same with a different special each night and a few slight changes.
Las Torres Buffet Restaurant – Palace Section:
This buffet is right next to the Royal Gourmet Restaurant, and we ate dinner here a couple of times and breakfast most days. It is open from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. for breakfast and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner. It is not open at lunchtime. There was always a large selection of food and it was very good. In addition to the prepared food in the buffet, you could ask for a steak, hamburger, porkchop or hotdog and they would cook it for you. They always had several kinds of pasta, salads, rice dishes, vegetables, fish and meat, cheese and breads and deserts. Getting drinks was a little hit and miss sometimes, ie. at dinner they’d bring the wine but not the water. We enjoy a cup of coffee after our evening meal, and this seemed to be a problem in all of the restaurants. We’d ask for Café Americano or Cafe con Leche, and end up with espresso almost every time – best to stick to cerveza.
The buffet restaurants have a different theme every night, ie. Sunday is Americano, Monday is Mexican, Tuesday is Oriental, Wednesday is Italian, Thursday is Dominican, etc.. This is also posted in the lobby of Royal Suites every day.
La Catedral Buffet Restaurant- Bavaro Section
Same hours as Las Torres. We did not eat here. I enquired if there was different food at the different buffets and was told it was the same at all of the buffet restaurants.
El Behique Buffet Restaurant – Punta Cana Section
Same hours as the other buffets, and is also open at lunchtime from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. We ate lunch here once, it was very nice, again lots of choice.
Each section also has its own beach restaurant, located between the pool and the beach.
El Bohio Lunch Buffet - Palace Section
Open from noon to 4 p.m. for lunch. This is where we ate lunch most of the time, it is closest to Royal Suites. Good variety and service. I loved their Waldorf salad, and later in the week they had potato salad, which was excellent. Again, you could have a hamburger or hotdog or porkchop or steak cooked to order. They also had a machine for icecream cones. I thought originally that it was soft icecream but it wasn’t – it was great. A lot easier than trying to scoop out of frozen icecream containers.
La Uva Lunch Buffet – Punta Cana Section
Open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch, and it is also open for continental breakfast and snacks from 10 a.m. to noon, and snacks from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. We were told it was nice here, same food as other lunch buffets but a nicer atmosphere. We never got to try it though.
Arrecife – Bavaro Section
Open for lunch from noon to 4 p.m. Didn’t eat here.
A La Carte Restaurants:
he hotel now has a “no reservations” system for all of the a la cartes for this season. (It’s something they are trying out to see how it works, so it is subject to change). Previously guests had to make reservations for the a la carte restaurants, and guests other than those in Royal Suites were restricted on the number of times they could eat at a la carte restaurants. Now no one needs to have a reservation, it’s first come, first served..
Royal Suites guests have the option of making a reservation at the front desk in the morning for their choice of a la carte restaurant and they will be guaranteed a table at the time they select.
All a la cartes are open from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Note that if it is the Mexican theme night at the buffets, the Mexican a la carte restaurant will be closed, if it is the Italian theme night, the Italian a la carte restaurant is closed, etc.
There are 5 a la carte restaurants:
Mare Nostrum – Italian – Palace Section
This restaurant is located right next to the Las Torres Buffet Restaurant. There are a number of menu choices, as well as an antipasto/salad bar. Food and service was very good. I had the veal parmesan.
El Arrecife – Seafood – Bavaro Section
We did not eat here as I don’t like seafood, but in looking at the menu later I saw that they do have steak, chicken and pork entrees on the menu. This restaurant is right at the beach. According to the menu, there is an extra charge for Lobster.
Bamboo – Asian Restaurant – Bavaro Section
This restaurant is located off the lobby of the Bavaro Section. Nice décor, lots of bamboo. The menu includes dishes from China, Japan, India and Thailand. They also have an antipasto/salad bar. We ordered our meal and because we were in Royal Service they also brought us a plate of extras. The food was very good, but we were so full when we left…
El Quijote – Spanish Specialties – Bavaro Section
This restaurant is also located off the lobby of the Bavaro Section. Again, this was very good. I had lamb, Pat had beef, and they also had an antipasto/salad bar. Good service. Interesting décor, chandeliers made out of bottles.
La Gran Cantina Mariachi – Bavaro Section
Also located off the lobby of the Bavaro Section. We ate here on our last night and it was pouring with rain. The food was good here, but service wasn’t the best as they were having issues with water leaking through the roof. I had a buffalo wing appetizer that was almost a meal in itself, and then a steak with guacamole. There was also an antipasto/salad bar, so we were stuffed when we left.
House wine is included at all the restaurants; they also have a wine list if you want to purchase a bottle of wine with your meal.
Dress Code for the a la carte restaurants is long pants for men. Having said that, I did see some men in shorts in the a la carte restaurants… Dress shorts are fine for the buffet restaurants.
Only Royal Suites guests have room service, which is available 24 hours. There is a $6.00 U.S. service charge. Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., main courses from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and salads and sandwiches are available 24 hours. We never tried room service, it says to allow 20 to 30 minutes for delivery.
There are two theatres here, one at Grand Palladium Bavaro, the Sunset, and one at Grand Palladium Punta Cana, the Merengue . The shows didn’t start until 10:00 p.m., we never did make it to one. In the Royal Suites lobby they post which shows are available at which theatre. Karaoke, Michael Jackson show, Dominican Folklore, Phantasia of Horror, Gala..were a few I saw listed.
The Sunset Boulevard Disco is located across from the main lobby of the Palladium Bavaro and is open from 11:15 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. – never went in, too late for us..
The casino is located near the Palace lobby. The slot machines are open at 10 a.m. to 3 a.m., the tables don’t open until 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. We went in a couple of times and played the slot machines, didn’t win anything but they have 1 cent and 5 cent slot machines, so you can play for quite a while. Drinks are included here. Tables are Blackjack, Caribbean Poker, and Texas Holdem Poker.
There are two computers in the lobby of Royal Suites which are free for Royal Suites guests to use and are available 24 hours a day. Connections were a little intermittent, it was down the first day we were there and went out a couple of times during the week for short periods.
For non-Royal Suite guests there is an internet café in the Palace area and in the Sports Bar in the Bavaro side of the complex where they charge $5 US for 30 minutes or $8 for an hour.
Apparently there are plans to have wireless internet in the resort in the future.
In the Palace area you will find a gift shop, logo shop, and supermercado. I went in to buy some hairspray as I had forgotten mine, but decided that $18 US for a can of hairspray was a bit much.
The Dominican vendors also come into the resort once a week, or you can walk down the beach to the right where you will find a lot of vendors.on the beach and in El Cortecito. Be prepared to bargain, and everyone will want you to come and look at what they have for sale.
The spa at Grand Palladium Resorts is operated by Renova Spa and is currently located near the beach at Palladium Punta Cana. It is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The gym, sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi are included in the all-inclusive plan (reservations may be required). The gym is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
I went to the spa for a massage and it was wonderful. I had the 80 minute Stress Cure massage, s a combination-type massage - cost is $110.00 U.S. They have many different types of massages and body treatments available starting from $55.00 U.S., as well as manicures, pedicures, and hair salon services, There are also massages available at the beach.
A large new spa is currently under construction across from the Royal Gourmet Restaurant. They are building a huge new spa scheduled to be completed in December, it will be the largest in the area.
The Sports Center is located centrally in the Punta Cana section of the resort, furthest away from the beach. (Note that sports activities organized by the animation team take place at the beach and pools.) Archery, rifle shooting, badminton, basketball and mini golf are located at the sports centre, as well as the tennis courts, and a soccer field.
Medical Services – available 24 hours.
For information on Grand Palladium Resorts wedding packages, see our Weddings Page
Tour reps have desks in the lobbies of the various sections (never saw any reps in the Royal Suites section), you can check their books and see what their hours are in the other sections, and you can see them for available tours. Also, if you have any donations of school supplies, etc. that you bring with you, Apple (Amstar) reps at the hotel will gladly accept them and see that they are distributed to those that need them.
Weather and Bugs
We were there during Tropical Storm Noel. Although it caused a lot of devastation in the southern part of the country, Punta Cana only received heavy rain for a couple of days. We arrived on a Sunday and the weather was great all week, mostly sunny with only an occasional brief shower, until Saturday, when it clouded over and rained for much of the day. We had rain all of Sunday and into Monday.
As far as bugs, there weren’t any to speak of. A few flies, no problem with mosquitos at all.
As an adults only section, Royal Suites is an excellent option for those who just want to veg out and relax. At the same time, a full range of activities are also available to you.
Grand Palladium Resort is a great spot for families, singles, and couples.
The food everywhere at the resort is excellent, with many dining options, and service for the most part was excellent..
I’ve tried to cover the main aspects of the resort in my review – if you have any questions feel free to contact us, and I’ll try to answer them for you.
Special thanks to the staff in Royal Suites, and to Octavio Subervi for showing me around and answering all my questions.
"We would never return because of the food, but that's our taste."
Denis from Ottawa on Jan 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
369 people found this review helpful
January 10-17, 2009
My husband and I booked with Vacances Transat from Ottawa. The flight and arrival were uneventful. This was our fourth trip to Punta Cana. We were however glad to have waited an extra day to fly with Westjet as opposed to Skysquish (as some call Sky Service). Vacances Transat had a wrap and granola bar meal for us. Westjet had individual TVs for entertainment, however, we lost the sattelite TV half way there. You did however have access to pay TV $1.99 cdn for sitcoms and $5.99 for movies I guess nothing is free anymore You do have to pay $3 cdn for the headset so, if you plan to watch a little TV (half way) to pass the time, may I suggest you bring you Ipod headset
The rooms at the Royal Suites are very nice. One of the best we've had in Punta Cana. We were located in room 5032 and had a view of the pool area and the ocean that was a bonus. I think that if you are located on the third floor of in any of the buildings (exept the ends of the main building #51) you automatically have a view of the ocean' you may also get this view from the second floor. However, I doubt you do if you are located on the first floor. Bar fridge stocked daily with beer' put $2 in the fridge and see the beer multiply add a note and get the beer you want' They also offered us a bottle of special drink I think it was between rum, champagne and something else we picked the champagne which was surprisingly good (actually a Spanish sparkling wine). The next day the butler asked us if we received our Champagne, I jokingly told her we did and it would be nice to have another if we could the next day we got another' gave her $3 to thank her. Royal Suites guests also have access to wireless internet (sometimes not working in the evening and satellite TV (sometimes not working) and even DVD movie rentals. The shower and the toilet are in two separate cubicles' the door to both are made of painted glass and have a clear Palladium emblem in them the toilet door is short, kind of like a public cubicle door so, if you are here with a friend with whom you are not 100% comfortable' you'll have issues (I know I would) otherwise your good to go. As for cleaning' they took very good care of us. We left them a bag of goodies every day. May I suggest going to the dollar store, buy 6 gift bags (.50 cents each), get things they need, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, nail files, nail clippers' things they like and can't afford' makeup, etc. things for the kids'pencils, pencil charpeners, colour pencils, whatever is available' make a small bag with 3 to 4 items each day. I asked them and they truly appreciate it because these things are expensive for them and they make so little money. Think of it as a contribution to a charity where you actually get to see where the money goes, it's cost us about $35, which if you can afford this kind of vacation should not be an issue. These gifts are probably worth more like $20 a day for them I doubt they can buy shampoo or 3 bars of soap for a dollar.
Restaurants and Bars::
This is where the Royal Suites kind of goes down hill for us. We picked the Royal Suites based on a referral from one of the cheap tickets web sites for a few reasons, adults only, at least 4 and a half stars, special service (Royal Suites) and unlimited meals at a la carte restaurants (the most important for us). The nice thing about staying at the Royal Suites was that we were the only guest of the Palladium complex allowed to make reservations at the restaurants (that was a bonus we expected for the extra price). We were able to make a reservation each day with the butler which is available to all Royal Suites guests.
On our arrival, since our room wasn't quite ready, we went to the Royal Gourmet (Royal Suites private restaurant buffet and a la carte for all meals) for lunch. It had a very nice buffet which offered lot's of different salads (something I love for lunch)' they were all quite tasty and thought this is going to be an awesome place to eat' Subsequently, we had lunch at the beach buffet of the Palace section, they only had two types of salads and rarely changed them, or they were just a new variety of potato salad they do however have a grill for all sorts of meat and a make your own pasta bar, the pasta bar (prepared by a chef in front of you) is quite good.
First evening: Dinner at the Royal Gourmet, I had chicken which was a little dry and my husband had the filet mignon which he liked' I would say it was average' but, the service always came with a smile. We also purchased a bottle of wine from the Rioja region of Spain we love the wine from that region, it was quite good an extra $25US for that. After this meal, we realized that we had premium wine in restaurants for Royal Suites guests we opted for that wine' they were not the new world wines we prefer, but 2 of the 3 types they had were good (all Spanish wines). In most restaurants and lunch buffets we had to ask them for the premium wine and show them our bracelet.
On subsequent dinners, we tried different types of restaurants. Much to our disappointment, most of the food is simply ok' although the presentation may sometimes look better than it would in a pub, the minute you taste it, it's almost as if they made a plate for you off a buffet table and just made it look better. We have stayed at other resorts in Punta Cana, for example the Melia Caribe-Tropical were the food quality in the restaurants was much closer to gourmet meals, you could taste the difference between buffet and restaurants. I do have to say that my husband and I generally go to upscale restaurants whenever at home or away in North America or Europe. Therefore, we kind of expect a little bit of a WOW factor when it comes to good restaurants. So, although we still hate well, it just wasn't a WOW., THAT WAS GREAT!!! kind of feeling. So, if prefer quantity rather than quality, I'm sure the buffets would satisfy you.
Again, tip them' $1 for every drink is nothing' We didn't tip in the past, thinking' it's included, but then realised' if we were on a cruise or even one of your local bars, we'd be spending $5 minimum on a beer so bring plenty of US dollar bills' we also tipped $5 for dinner at the restaurants. They share the tips amongst all of the restaurant's employees' again, very little for us, a lot for them We estimate that we will probably spend about $100 on tips and gifts, but we are helping people who although are much better off having us visit are still being taken advantage of with very long hours and work weeks and very little money to show for it, be generous' you'll feel better and get even better service' please note that you still get great service even if you don't tip.
The beach in Punta Cana is the reason we always return here. It is an incredible beach, we love to walk and you can basically walk until your legs fall off. Here at the Royal Suites you have the private beach, which has sufficient chairs and even beds. Although some people went early to the beach and pool to reserve seats, we went around 10:00 a.m. and never had a problem finding a spot in the shade, sun worshipers needn't worry. However, the complex is growing. According to the butler, 235 new rooms will be available in May 2009 that means a potential of an extra 470 additional guest using the same space on the beach'. not sure what it will be like then. The Royal Suites also had only 135 or it's 180 rooms occupied during our stay' just that would mean a potential of an extra 90 guests. The pool area proved to be a little bit busier than the beach, so, in late afternoon when the beach got a little cooler with the wind, it was a little more difficult to find a chair in the shade. It is also usually generally quiet around the pool area, although depending on the bartender; sometimes they put the Caribbean music a little too loud for our taste' We would personally prefer not having any music. We love to just listen to the waves, the breeze, etc
Would I recommend this place' That's a good question! We would never return because of the food, but that's our taste. According to other critics on this site, it was great. According to one couple we spoke with, they had little complaints about the food. A second couple never had a good meal. So, it really comes down to taste.
The other thing that would worry me is; What will the beach and pool area would be like with an extra 470 guests. The one thing I loved about this time around in Punta Cana was not having to go out and reserve a beach chair at 8:00 a.m. Also, would the new capacity potentially affect the service, which we thought was extraordinary. Basically, it comes down to what you like or what you are looking for.
"A wonderful place, with excellent staff."
Roberta from Vancouver on Jan 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
384 people found this review helpful
Arrival: January 4-January 18:
We flew Air Transat from vancouver, Club Class as usual. We got off to a rocky start, long story short, 16 hours delayed, we lost a whole night plus most of the next day. First time in Punta Cana, in 12 trips we weere asked to open a suitcase at customs, took about 30 sec and we were on our way. Mike's taxi service was prompt and waiting and off to the Royal suites at 4:30pm when it was suppposed to be 10pm the eve before. Oh well. Check in was fast. We were given our choice of 3 rooms to choose from (we are returning guests to the Palladium and I made a request) we chose 5220 on the 2nd floor, luggage was done in 5 min. All very smooth.
The room was nice, clean, no odors, bed was comfy, nice jacuzzi but a little small for 2, the Palladium bavaro Jr Suites had a much bigger jacuzzi tub, bathroom is open to the room , meaning no separate room. Huge shower, toilet is separate. Its exactly like the pictures.We received 2 bottles of rum as well.Robes and slippers come with the room and the fridge is stocked daily with soft drinks , beer and water. One thing we did not use that I will next time is the Pillow Menu. There is a pillow menu where you can order pillows of different types. Next time. Our room overlooked the pool on the 2nd floor and a little of the ocean.Nice. No complaints. We backed onto El Cortecito so occasionaly there was some noise but we don't mind at all, thats our favorite place to hang out anyway. Our balcony had 2 chairs and a table. In comparison, the Bavaro Princess Platinum Suites had a nicer balcony.They had very nice lounge chairs, better view, we enjoyed our balcony there. We thought for the Royal Suites they could at least put lounge chairs on the balcony.
These things are minor. next time I will request a room closer to the Ocean . The best rooms would be 5028 and 5232, they are closest to the beach.
Restaurants and Bars::
The Royal Suites has access to every restaurant and bar in the Palladium complex.We don't use the Ala Cartes so I can't comment here. The Royal Suites offer snacks in the lobby, just help yourself to sandwiches, deserts, yogurt,etc, anytime.The Royal Suites has its own Gourmet restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is right next door to the Palace Buffet. We did eat at the Gourmet Buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner once. Every meal was very nice, service was great, and I would reccomend it. The Palace Buffet is right next door, its big, has great food choices and a different theme every night. We ate breakfast there(closed for lunch) and dinner for the first few days, after that we headed outside the resort.We had lunch at the buffet by the beach in front of the Palace. They changed the hot dishes daily, we often had the BBQ chicken. Its ok for lunch. I have had better elsewhere but no complaints. The Buffet at the beach at the Palladium Bavaro is much better in my opinion. Its about a 10 min walk. We chose to stay close by.
The waiters and waitresses are the same for breakfast ,lunch and dinner if you eat at the Palace buffets, they work 12 hour days. we always get to know them quite well and ALWAYS tip. They are super nice.
As for the bars, get on the train and you will see how much this resort has to offer. The Royal Suites has a bar in the lobby and a bar at the pool that is open till midnight. There are 2 Manuels, we called them senior and junior, haha, but junior goes by tony. They are great and alot of fun. The atmosphere at the pool is very nice! quiet, Bachata music, just a great place that we visited every night.The make the best cappuncino at this resort, anywhere, even at the pool bar.
When you wear a Royal Suite bracelet you are entitled to different wine in the buffets and restaurants. The brand is Albaly and its very nice. I am a wine drinker. The wine in the RS lobby and pool is, hmmm, not good, in fact not good at all. I made a request with reception and Manuel at the pool bar to get Albaly wine at the pool bar and RS lobby. Why not? This is the RS and they go out of thier way for everything else. Anyway, after 2 days and many phone calls my request is granted. So if you are a wine drinker, you can request the better wine in the RS lobby and pool bar and you shall receive, thanks to Eduardo. Thank you, you worked very hard!!
We were at the RS at peak time, the hotel was at full capacity. Not once, any time of day, any day was there a shortage of chairs, palapas or beach beds. No towel games, nada. Also, the towels do not have to be exchanged for cards, just help yourself and they will collect them off the loungers at the end of the day.
We love the beach, the pool area was very hot because its between the buildings and there is very little breeze. We hung out at the beach and headed to the pool late afternoon for a coctail in the jacuzzi in the pool. There are plenty of tables too if you want to have drinks and play a game of cards.
There was alot of security and Turisto Policia on the beach, more than we have ever seen, they were there all day.Therefore, there was hardly any vendors around. The RS is right next door to El Cortecito, the little town. You can walk there is a minute. Security checks you and is there all the time,even at 3am haha.
The grounds are immaculate. One thing I like about the Palladium is the covered walkways throught the resort. They really come in handy when the rains come.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: We don't go on tours. We prefer to hire a taxi/tour guide or call on friends there if we want to go out. We have been to the DR 12 times. I will make a comment on El Cortecito since its right next door.
Definately check out Casa de Piedro. This is a bar/restaurant. We had dinner there 2x and 2x just drinks. There is a live band friday nights, they start around 11 or so. We stayed till 3am!!! It was fun!The Crazy gator is a local bar where you can just sit and watch the local scene. This became my husbands favorite hang out. There is a Supermercado there with a Banco Populare inside if you want to draw some money from a credit card. There is a bank machine too. We have eaten outside of the resort numerous times, there are alot of restaurants, and shopping to be enjoyed.And don't forget a visit to Steve's bar.
I have never written a review before even though we visit the DR often. I could say alot more but I hope I have covered the main items. We are planning to return to the RS in April/May. Yes it was that good.
There is construction going on for 240 new rooms scheduled to open May 2009. I know construction in the DR, and I would guess May 2010 perhaps. There won't be any disruption of niose to your holiday from this. Enjoy.
Overall this is a wonderful place, with excellent staff. I can't say more, I highly recommend it. If you wish to contact me you can pm me on Debbie's travel board under my name never2hot.
"Beach,pools and grounds were all in excellent very clean condition."
Hlywud & the Warden on Feb 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
368 people found this review helpful
Arrival: January 23 - 30
Air transat, 1.5 hours late leaving YYZ but we made up 40 minutes in the air. Very comfortable flight on an A310-300. Private transfer was prearranged by Bronly from IBK Servicios and we were at the resort within 30 minutes and an hour ahead of the bus.
Room 5148, third floor facing the ocean, very clean and comfortable Junior Suite. Room had lots of towels and condiments at all times. Service from the maid was excellent, we did try the Butler service and got new pillows promptly but we were a couple of days getting a complimentary bottle of rum, not a big deal. We did make reservations for any a la cartes we used, with these we got right in ahead of lineups of other guests.
Restaurants and Bars:
All restaurants we attended were very good, Royal Gourmet was a bit slower service but food was quite good. Mare Nostrum as usual was very good. We tried the new Brazilian, good food but way too much meat. Buffets were also quite good, always an excellent selection of foods.
Beach,pools and grounds were all in excellent very clean condition. Royal Suites pool was scheduled for a new paint job in June 2009 but this posed no problems for our group.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Steve's bar for the meet and greet was very successful with over 70 tourists showing up and lots of donations for the schools and orphanage.
A great resort, our 5th visit and definitely will be returning. We had a young couple with us who are getting marrried in November 2009, we arranged trips for them to the Majestic, Iberostars, Occidental and the Riu complexes. After their meetings with the different wedding co-ordinators they have decided to be married at the Palladium.
"We loved it and would return in a nano-second."
Ann from Halifax on Mar 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
376 people found this review helpful
We left Halifax in the middle of an ice storm, apparently our flight was the only one that got out that day! How lucky. We arrived at Punta Cana airport, got our bags and found our bus without any difficulties - they have a great system there. I love the thatched roof airport! The drive was only about 25-30 minutes, through some very poor areas, great photo ops though...
We were the first to be droppoed off at our resort - The Royal Suites is beautiful. Lobby reminded us a little of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, on a much smaller scale. Our room wasn't quite ready upon our arrival so we changed into warm weather attire (highly recommend you take a change of clothing in your carry-on) and did a bit of exploring. I have to mention, I went into the bathroom off the main lobby, it was spotless and I will never forget the beautiful smell in there - what a great first impression. After an hour and a half or so we got to our room. It was beautiful. We were in the building off the lobby, I believe our room was 5118, corner room on the sceond floor overlooking the lush gardens. It was perfect. So quiet and private. Only thing I would mention that should be brought to the attention of management - the floors in the rooms are marble and they are EXTREMELY slippery when your feet are wet. Perhaps there should be a little warning sign posted somewhere in the room. Just a thought. There were fresh flowers laid out every day, and again for the nightly turn-down service, I loved them! We received a complementary bottle of sparkling wine and our fridge was stocked daily with water and beer (our choice). This is a fantastic perk! The bed was very comfortable and I loved the "pillow menu", I highly recommend the memory foam. The house-keeping staff do a tremendous job and they are so very friendly.
Restaurants and Bars
We ate a few times at the Royal Gourment, I have to say I wasn't a huge fan at all. Perhaps our standards were too high? We actually only ate dinner there once. The staff were great, the presentation was beautiful too - we just found the food to be a little off and lacking in flavor. The buffet right next door (the name escapes me) was more to our liking and if some of the fellow vacationers learned some basic manners on how to treat the staff (and guests), the entire experience would have been perfect. This restaurant makes THE best cappuccino I have ever had - it's pretty much perfect.
We ate at the Brazilian, great chicken! We tried the Mexian, not really to our liking...there was a new Japanese restaurant opening the day we were leaving, looking forward to hearing about that.
The sandwiches available in the lobby and at the pool bars were very convenient and I loved the tuna wraps and the veggies sandwiches! Great with a cold Presedente! Staff at the pool bar were fantastic. I have a soft spot for Theodoro - he even invented a drink for me which we aptly named "The Theodoro." Perhaps he does this for everyone, made me feel special! The frozen daqiris are excellent, especially if you don't want to take in too many coconutty, fruity drinks.
Gorgeous, immaculate, perfect - need I say more? Grounds keepers are constantly working.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We didn't take part in any activites at all - we relaxed the entire week. Most strenuous activity was walking to the bar from time to time. Loved it!
I would highly recommend this resort to anyone who is looking for the perfect relaxing getaway. Adult only means no children and while we were there, there weren't any loud and obnoxious tourists either! We loved it and would return in a nano-second.
"We loved this Resort, with a few exceptions."
Dianne on Mar 1, 2009 >
4 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
391 people found this review helpful
Arrival: Feb. 28 - March 14
We arrived on time by Westjet....no complications at the Airport and taken to the Royal Suites very quickly. We arrived at the Royal Suites and were taken right away at the Desk. The only problem was that we had to wait 3 hours before we got into our Room. Our attendant, I believe his name was Jack, went off duty, shortly after he registered us and, the next person on duty never called us regarding the availablity of our room (we were sitting on the chairs right next to him). I finally went up to him and he checked on the status of our room. It was finally ready. There was nobody there to take our suitcases, so we went to the room ourselves, suitcases in tow. We have travelled a lot, to different resorts, and I've never had to wait 3 hrs to get into our room. We were tired from our flight and disappointed with this service. This is something that needs to be looked at.
Our Room 5202 was very beautiful, on the ground floor, overlooking the pool. Service was very good. We got champagne and a fruit basket, a bottle of rum and the fridge was filled everyday with water and beer.
Restaurants and Bars
The Royal Gourmet was very good, we enjoyed the main courses very much, the filet mignon was excellent and the desserts were excellent as well. We didn't much care for their buffet. We ate also at the Palace Buffett....great selection and the food was excellent.
The only thing I would suggest that the Royal Suites need a small Dining area of their own, which could be built off the main lobby to the left as you enter the front doors. The Paradisus Punta Cana Royal Suites, have their own Dining Area for Breakfast, Lunch and H'Orederves (sp?) and No Supper. At the Royal Suites Lobby you could get sandwiches but, sometimes they were dry. Again, this is a situation that needs attention.
We are lovers of the beach, and we liked our private beach very much, except for the logs......sort of blocks your view. The pool area was great as well, we always came to the pool, from the ocean, about 4:00 p.m. for a few drinks. Danny the bartender was great as were the girls that served us.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We really didn't get involved in any activities.....we just wanted to relax, read, walk and enjoy the ocean. The Beach was very clean and you could walk for miles.
We loved this Resort, with a few exceptions, as noted above, and would like to return. However, with the building of 235 additional units (470 guests) makes us wonder how this is going to change this quiet resort, i.e., the pool area and the private beach.....this is a great concern for us, as we loved it the way it was.
"Hats off to Palladium and the staff that make this place what it is."
Anne from Nova Scotia on Apr 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2009
427 people found this review helpful
Arrival: April 5 - 12
Early flight on Air Transat. Club Class the only way to go. No other planes around just ours so the total time from landing to bus leaving was 1/2 hour. From landing to Hotel 1 hour. Taken to resort via big bus only dropping at the other Palladium resorts. Just 6 off at the Suites. Checkin was a breeze while sipping a fruity drink and cool cloth. Rooms not ready as expected, no big deal. Left everything in the lobby and changed into bathing suit, grabbed the big cup hit the bar on the way to the beach. For everyone who get so bent out of shape over your room not being ready, relax just be ready for it and go with the flow. The front desk will appreciate it so much more and remember you for being nice about it. Just hit the beach and relax.
I had the prefect room and well as my other travelling companions. My rooms was on the top floor # 5144 just about dead centre of builing 51. Looking directly at the ocean. What a view from my bed. Everything about the room was perfect. Clean is an understatement. These maids work hard. I came back to my room at 9:00 for something and she had the bed pulled out from the wall mopping under it. Never felt sand or grit at anytime. King size bed. Sheets changed everyday. Not that they needed it be but some get bent out of shape if the sheets are not changed. Mini bar stocked everyday with 2 huge bottles of water beer, pop, crackers and 2 cans of peanuts. Flat screen TV, electronic safe. Room was simply beautiful. If there was ever a problem and I did have one with no water on day, called the desk and 5 minutes later the problem was fixed.
Restaurants and Bars
For me the new japanese was the best. In the suites you do get to reserve and bypass the line ups. I did find that they used a little to much salt for me but I usually don't eat it so it may have just been me. Mare Norstrum , way to hot in there for me and it took over 2 hours to get our meal when we did it was amazing but we left before dessert as were all to hot. I did mention this to the Concierge and he reported it to management while I was with him. Bamboo was wonderful and the orange dessert was to die for. Very fast service. El Arrecife, amazing lovely breeze blowing in from the beach, no flys. Service very fast as well. Did the buffet and all the food was really great. Fast and efficient. We always sat at the same area as there were 6 at all times so we got to know them and they us and knew what we wanted before we even asked. We alway left tips so this helps. I did notice that not many people do leave tips and I don't know why. I know one can if they want to and it is not expected but come on people a buck or two here and there really helps these people out.
The Gourmet is just for Suites guests and is on the mark. Service and attention to each person food ordered off menu as well as help yourself to the buffet items. Bars we did frequent Hemingway's which is in a class all by it's self. Mostly we used the bar in our lobby or the beach bar and the pool bar in the Suites area. Most drinks were delivered to us on the beach and perk at the suites. Everyday fruit kabobs delivered to us as well. Very nice touch.
Beach...perfect as everyone knows. Never do a pool when I'm south so I can't comment but they looked great. Very comfortable Bali bed at beach and pool area. The lounger are the best I have ever layed on, long and made of metal with webbing. I did take a MEC sleeping pad with me just in case thing got uncomfortable. These MEC pads are only 700gr. self inflate and pack up small. Good investment. Never had trouble finding a lounger. Landscaping beautiful.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Did do parasailing once I got up the nerve and was glad I did, it is very peaceful up there and the view was amazing. Went to Don Lucas cigar lounge. Anyone looking to purchase a excellent quality cigar should give this guy a call, your concierge will have his info. Top quality. He is very informative and picks you up in his vehicle and takes you back. The rest of my time was walking the beach and laying in the sun.
I did get to tour the new section of the Royal Suites and it is amazing. There are three builing opening in 10 days. No ocean view but everything else makes up for it. The swimup suites will be a hit for some for sure. Top of the line everything in these rooms. Only a 3 minute walk to the beach. I had been to the Royal Suites in 2006 and thought it was the best then now things are even better and the additions they have made make it all the better. Anyone who books do it with confidence as this place will give you everything you need in a vacation. Go relax and enjoy! Hats off to Palladium and the staff that make this place what it is. Please remember to tip! Also candy is a huge hit with the young and old. So pick up some discounted easter stuff and bring it along you will be surprised just how happy that will make them.
"Very pleased with the holiday."
Chuck & Grace from Ontario on Apr 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2009
381 people found this review helpful
We arrived at the suites on Sunday March 22nd after a 4 ½ hour flight from Toronto. After the usual customs and baggage routine, there was a new twist, you had to have one of the porters move your bags for you, you couldn’t use the carts outside of the baggage area. However, when we arrived at the resort, there was no waiting, our room was ready, and we were escorted to our room, 5205 by our butler Carlos, who went through some of the services offered, such as pillow selection, etc.
The room was very nice and spacious, and was just as the pictures and previous reviews had stated. The room was always nice and fresh, with flowers and towel animals. The housekeeping staff was excellent, and were always considerate of the guests needs. The only thing that seemed to be in short supply was the face clothes. They would disappear in the morning, and would return late in the afternoon. Twice during the two weeks we were there, I had to go searching as they had not yet been delivered by 5:00pm. The fridge guy was sort of hit and miss. There were two or three days, he never showed up at all. That was never a big deal, because all you had to do was walk to the lobby, and there were 2 fridges stocked with beer, soda, water, yogurt and sandwiches which you could get at any time.
We did receive two small bottles of rum during our stay, as well as a bottle of chilled champagne and two glasses delivered to the door. We also received a fruit basket the afternoon of our arrival.
Restaurants and Bars
We tried most of the a la carte restaurants as well as the Royal Gourmet. The one we found to be the best was the Japanese as well as the Royal Gourmet. The International Steak and Seafood located at one of the beach grills was by far the worst of the lot. Besides an extremely long wait both times, the beef was as tough as shoe leather, it was so bad, and I could not chew my steak, very disappointing to say the least. The Italian was OK, as well as the Dominican and the Tex-Mex wasn’t too bad either. We never took the time to try the Brazilian or the Oriental. We tried two of the buffets, and found the food to be fairly decent. I personally found that there could have been some more variety in the salads served, but I may have gone with a pre-conceived expectation of what we had last year. Also bacon was not available every day, but the omelettes were excellent. Overall a 7 out of 10 rating for the buffet. There were three of the staff at Las Torress that made the trip, they were Alessandra, Domingo and Yuniour. Always willing to help, and very attentive to the guests needs.
We tried the lobby bar at the Palace, which was nice, Hemmingway’s is a “must visit” while at the Palladium, but the best was the pool bar at the Royal Suites. Theodoro was the main man during the day, and Santos in the evening. They were always pleasant, and quick service. These are hard working people, and should be given credit for the work and effort that they put out.
The beach is absolutely beautiful, we have been to Puerto Plata twice, and there is no comparison in the beach and the color of the water. The grounds are immaculate and the gardening staff are to be commended for their work. One morning on the way back from breakfast, we watched them grooming some coconut palms, the gardener took down a couple of fair size coconuts, shaped one, and opened it and gave it to my wife to drink the juice. It was one of those moments that made the visit so special.
The pool is nice and with the swim up bar, you never worked up too much of a thirst. The only thing we found different was the “topless” ladies around the pool, we had seen that down at the beach many times before, but that was the first time ever around the pool.
We did not take in any of the shows at the resort, usually by 10:00pm we were pretty worn out from the fresh air and the sun. We did go on the Nichol jewellery tour and the Dominico Cigar Factory tour but that was pretty much the extent of it. We did go on a shopping excursion to Plaza Bavaro with a chap named Marcus, whom we met in the lobby of the Palace section, selling trips to Captain Cooks Restaurant. He escorted us into town, and then took us to the Supermercado to buy our Rum, Coffee and yes clamato juice. It was a tad on the pricy side (the clamato), but hey, you are in the Dominican Republic. Twelve dollars for the cabs compared to $140.00 for a ½ day shopping trip, and we got everything we wanted for almost the price of the excursion.
We also ventured into El Cortecito, everything is cheapy cheapy, but if you look around, you can usually find what you want, if you are so inclined. It was not too bad of a venture.
Overall we were very pleased with the holiday. Now that I have tried it, two weeks is definitely the way to go. Would we go back to the Royal Suites, yes definitely? My only concern would be once they open up the new section, it will put a lot of pressure on the beach area, which may have a negative impact on that part of the resort. As far as service and guest satisfaction, can’t be beat.
"Disappointment & dissatisfaction."
Kerry on Jun 1, 2009 >
Visited on: Jun, 2009
662 people found this review helpful
My husband & I love to travel. We have gone on several cruises & have enjoyed them immensely. Wanting to try something new this time, we chose the Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladium which we were told was a 5 star resort. We always have a positive attitude & when we are on vacation, we have the attitude of “we are not at work, we are not at home cooking & cleaning, so how bad can it be, right????”
We usually can find the good in anything, so I will start with the GOOD:
We thought the butler service was a great idea. We loved that our butler made reservations for us at the restaurants so we wouldn’t have to wait in line to be seated. That being said, the butler was only at her desk a couple times for short periods of time so it was difficult to get the chance to speak with her. We loved the fact that they have an adult only section of the resort & beach. It was very peaceful & quiet.
Now for the BAD:
The weather was awful. There were thunderstorms every day & night. In the whole 7 days we probably got a total of a few hours of sun. The rooms were leaking & the resort was flooding. It made getting around pretty difficult. The weather couldn’t have been helped, I admit, but I do think the resort could have made things a little easier for us or compensated us in some way. I am not sure if it was the weather, or if this was just par for the course, but their attitudes were very poor.
Which leads me to the UGLY:
We booked the upgraded swim-up room specifically to have immediate access to the pool. Well, our pool was broke the whole week. The Jacuzzis were broke the whole week. They made no attempt to apologize or to switch us to a different room. Everyone in our building was complaining. We tried to be reasonable but all we were told was “is broke, Senor”. The advertised free wifi didn't work. Again, when we asked about it we were told “is broke, Senor” The only way we could use the internet is if we made the trek thru the floods to go the lobby. Our A/C worked but not that great. We heard some people saying their rooms were cold as ice but ours barely worked. We tried to tell them but they didn’t seem to care. We were told there would be trains making stops at lobbys & restaurants every 10 to 15 minutes. Well, when they were running, the wait was always 30 to 45 minutes. We met an older couple who said they had to wait a whole hour for the train to come to their stop & they would have walked in the rain but they had arthritis. We were told that we could ask anyone to take us anywhere on the complex with a club car or golf cart. Once we were told “the train will come” & another time we asked the driver to take us to the main gate & he simply said “NO” so we walked in the rain! We asked the man at the front desk to show us where Hemingway’s bar was on the map. We even showed him the word “Hemingway” in writing. He said he didn’t know & he called 2 people & then he said “it’s on the map. The train will take you there” so we had to go find it ourselves. Something we found to be funny was on an electronic survey, one of the questions was to rate the staff of the Hemingway bar. Kind of funny since the staff didn’t even know it existed! We booked a tour that was leaving early in the morning. The night before, I tried to preorder breakfast thru room service. The room service breakfast starts at 7 & will get to your room in 40 minutes. That would have been too late so the night before when I called & requested to have breakfast sent to me at 7:30 the next morning, he said “No, you call tomorrow”. That was a huge inconvenience that could have been avoided. What would have been the harm in allowing me to call ahead for one morning? In the Royal Gourmet, my husband said that instead of having an appetizer, he preferred to try 2 different entrees. He was told “NO”. He thought he misunderstood so he rephrased it & the waiter said “NO, ONLY 1!” We were offended since in our opinion, we PAID for that food! At the same restaurant on a different night my husband dropped a fork. When it hit the floor, everyone around us could hear it, even the waiters. They turned their heads in our direction. My husband waited a moment & when it appeared no one would bring him a new fork, he got up to go across the restaurant to get it himself. We had to hold up our glasses to request water refills since it appeared that no one was even paying attention to our table. On several occasions we were served the wrong orders & had to wait even longer. On one occasion, they forgot to make our order & we had to wait a very long time to get our lunch. At the Japanese restaurant, when I walked in the door dripping wet from rain, the girl at the door didn’t offer me a towel; instead she glared at me, shook her head at me, & placed a wet floor sign beside the puddle of water I created. When we went outside of the resort, we saw that other resorts offered their guests umbrellas & rain ponchos. We would have bought them and used them if they were available to us but instead, at our resort we were treated as though our wetness was a nuisance to them. What was a nuisance was we brought very nice dress clothes that were ruined due to the mildew of constantly being wet. Our room was leaking, as all others were, so no clothing would dry even after being draped all over the room all week.
The only thing the staff would do was keep bringing us towels to place all over the floors & tables. My husband went to discuss these matters with Miguel. (the apple rep) Miguel was very friendly but he didn’t seem to be very helpful. He, along with all others, would just smile & tell us to relax. There were no solutions to any of the problems, no apologies, just absent smiles. My husband explained to Miguel that we booked the upgraded room specifically for perks that we weren’t receiving such as the pool & the wifi. Miguel told my husband that all of the royal suites were equal in price. When my husband told Miguel that wasn’t the case, Miguel only smiled & said he didn’t know because he had only been there for 2 weeks. He said that he already knew that the pool was broken since other guests were telling him about it but that we were to “expect” these things since we were in a new section. But, more than a month before our vacation when we asked if this new section would be completed in time, we were told that everything was to be ready & open on May 1st. Had the pool in our building ever been working, or was it working at one point & then it broke? Either way, that was the whole reason of booking a swim-up room & Miguel could only tell us that it was “to be expected”. In the end, we saw the maintenance crew capping off all the jets in the pool so it looked as though there was no hope of it working anytime in the near future. The crew was digging holes all over the place & it appeared that there was some sort of plumbing/piping issues. I understand things break but it seemed as though this place was nowhere near being ready to be open to the public. I believe we were misled greatly. We were also told that there would be no problem with having a late check-out. Our flight wasn’t due to leave till after 8pm. We were told by the man at the desk that we had to be out of our room at noon. We said that seemed too early & asked if we could have late check-out. He became annoyed & said “only 1 more hour. You be here at 1:00.” So, we went to eat lunch & at 12:30 we attempted to go to our room to get our luggage & our keys had already been disabled. We had to go find a maid to let us into our room. Then even though it seemed as though they were in a hurry for us to leave, we had to call twice for a bellboy to pick up our luggage.
All of this being said, individually all of these complaints are not that big a deal but when you combine them into a whole week, it adds up to be very bad vacation. Like I said, we are not the type to complain about anything. We are passive people and we are very fun people. We usually make it a point to make the most of every minute of our vacations. We are usually annoyed when we see guests do nothing but complain thruout their vacations. But when we were blatantly being treated with rudeness & disregard, we were shocked & disgusted! On a cruise we are treated as though we are their friends. They get to know us, they get to know our traveling companions, they even learn how we drink our coffee. It’s the little things that matter to me. An example of how this resort was the exact opposite is what happened on our last day. We had been there for 7 days. We saw the same people over & over. We recognized them & assumed they would have at least known we had been there. Sitting in the lobby after the whole check-out fiasco, a member of the staff actually came up to us & told us that our room would be ready soon. There was never any attempt of them trying to get to know us or making us feel that we mattered. We are not wealthy people. This was a huge expense to us. We even added to that expense by purchasing the insurance plan but how can we be compensated for all of this? Not to mention the vacation days that we can not get back from our employers. We feel as though it’s all been wasted.
There are no other words to explain our disappointment & dissatisfaction
Susan from Danville, Kentucky on Jul 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jul, 2009
639 people found this review helpful
Arrival: July 3 - July 11:
Sheer Bliss. My husband and I thought this was one of our most relaxing vacations in years. I have travelled all over the world, I used to work in the Middle East and got free plane tickets each year so have been many places, and this is one of my favorite resorts. It is just so beautiful there, and the people were so nice. Those beds on the beach were so decadent, the food was good and the people very friendly if you were nice to them. I will say though everyone was right about arrival and departure at the airport. Arrival was swift and efficient, but you better have three hours to get through lines on the way back. Our check in was quick, and we received cold towels and drinks while we waited. I loved the Royal Suites lobby. It was blessedly cool, had snacks, drinks, a lady who made coffees and cappucinos, free internet, that there was never a long wait to get, books, magazines etc. Very pleasant. The butler (more what I would call a concierge) sits at a desk right outside the lobby, and someone was there most of the time. I found them very helpful to book restraunt (do that ASAP) get flight reconfirmed or answer questions.
As we walked with our butler back to our room we were thrilled with how lovely the place was. Just way more beautiful than the pictures looked. Because I have a bad leg I had insisted on staying in building 52, right next to the pool and beach and this was so handy. We went in our room and the butler gave us a quick rundown of the room and options. We were very happy with the room. It was big, with a nice patio that looked over the pool, loved the big jacuzzi and shower and the bed was big and comfortable. Bar was always well stocked every day, and the maid did a good job with the cleaning. I left her usually two dollars and a candy bars and at the end left her several things. Liked the fan over the bed. Very good movie channels. Nice wooden chairs on the patio. I saw pictures of the rooms in the new section and while it did look nicer and their pool didn't close, I loved being right next to the pool, beach and lobby.
Restaurants and Bars::
Our favorite restraunt was the Royal Gourmet. Yes, the Los Torres buffet had more selection, but was also more crowded and sometimes ran out of things. We ended up eating breakfasts, some lunches and several dinners at the Royal Gourmet. I loved the walkways to it. Kept the sun or rain off you when it was hot. Did like the Los Torres next door, the Palace buffet. Very interesting salads and grilled fish and at dinner here once or twice.
I ended up liking La Uva just down the beach in the Punta cana section for lunch. You could just wear a beach cover up and they had usually two rice dishes (sometimes paella) a soup or two, meats you could have grilled or fish or hotdogs, usually some types of pastas, some unusually good mexican selections, and salads and that good homemade bread. But why I liked it usually over the palace beachside restraunt, (which was barely a two minute walk from the Royal suites pool or beach down the service path along the beach( is because La Uva, which was just a bit further down, had such a lovely ocean view while you ate. It was also a good place to get snacks if you didn't want the sandwiches at the bar. Although if you were on the beach around 11 30 they usually brought out yummy fruit kabobs and then pizzas. service was good around the beach, just wave to get their attention.
Our favorite restraunt was the Mare Nostrum the Italian place, right over by the Los Torres buffet and the Royal Gourmet. It was delicious and we would go here at least twice when we go back. Nice starter buffet, delicious main entrees and good deserts. My second favorite was the Japanese one, also right by the Los Torres buffet and the Royal Gourmet, just further down the line. Very good beef and shrimp, good fried rice, excellent fried ice cream. Nice show.
One night we went over to the Bavaro side of the resort. We looked at the flamingos. Had a drink at Hemingways, which is a nice bar, although quicker to get served if you go up to the bar and take it back to your table. Then we ate at the Chinese restraunt, which was okay, not my favorite one. We went and saw part of a show at the theater, but it wasn't our kind of thing. Then we went over to the Bell captain at the little stand in the Bavaro lobby and asked to get a golf cart back since its a long walk and the train had just left. He was happy to assist us. That was the only time we went over to Bavaro, and to be truthful, probably the last time I'd go over there. It was very nice, but very busy, and I was just too spoiled by the things on the Royal Suites side.
We ordered room service several times when we'd had enough sun and didn't feel llike going back out, and it always came hot or cold and quite good. I liked the chicken quesadillas, they called them tacos, the chef salad was a bit strange as it didn't have much lettuce or vegetables, but was a good snack and it always came within thirty minutes or so.
If you get one of the sandwiches from the lobby or bar I reccommend the ham and cheese, quite good. Overall very pleased with the restraunts and selection of food, particularly the service and food at Royal Gourmet. Very good flank steak, eggs benedict and buffet selections. Some a bit strange for our American tastes, like mashed potatoes for breakfast, but still had bacon, eggs, and quite good pastries. Try the french toast. Made from fresh bread and eggs, delicious.
Well the grounds, beach and pools were even more beautiful than the pictures is all I can say. The lushness reminded me of Bali. I thought Hawaii had the corner on pretty landscaping but this was just wonderful. Loved all the flowers, that smelled so good, the shaded beach under the palm trees, those beds on the beach were just wonderful. Stayed on them most of the day. The sea was perfect, just enough wave, but you could float on your raft in it, I used to like to bounce in the waves and watch them frantically doing aerobics over on the palace beach. It was very relaxing. Although I liked the Punta Cana pool, I ended up liking the Royal Suites pool the best, although they did play the towel game there, didn't like to lounge there though, too hot, and it was too pleasant under the palms on the beach. Did like the pool though, those cool whirpools were very nice and there were deep parts in the pool that were refreshing. Beach was one of the prettiest I've seen, and like I said I've been all over the world. Do go for a walk to your left sometime.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
We just weren't in the mood to go on adventures this trip. We just wanted to relax. Next time might go on either the dolphin swim or that island one though. I am still mad at my husband for not going to the Michael Jackson show, hehe, it was supposed to be really good. Otherwise, just went to a lobby and got a drink and listened to music. Some of the music at the palace bar was good. Sat out on a beach bed looking at the ocean two nights, that was romantic and very peaceful.
Did go shopping to the shops just to the right a few times. Like the jewelry in the first hut. Best to offer a fourth of what asked and then go up a bit or be prepared to walk away. When I go back, to get to that cheap Los Pinos shop that has set prices (they're not, you can still get them down some) I highly recommend going down the beach to that restraunt and cut through that alley straight to the Los Pinos shop. That second row of shops were just too aggressive for me. The first row of shops really weren't. I guess they've learned not to be. I liked one shop in that alley by the restraunt. Had really nice beach bags. Got a beautiful larimar necklace for my Mom for about twenty bucks. Not bad.
We had a really wonderful time here and can't wait to go back. Do put towels down in your room. All floors are slippery here. Do bring candy bars and nick nacks to hand out. The towel man was so thrilled when I gave him one.