My husband and I travelled to The Royal Suites Turquesa between July 1-8th, 2012. We left right after our wedding and had a truly unforgettable time at this resort. I poured over trip advisor reviews comparing every resort in the carribean before making our choice. We are VERY happy that we went here. Here is the overview of our stay.
Arrival: It was raining when we arrived in Punta Cana but we were still able to get our luggage and get to the car service that was waiting for us within a half hour of landing. The ride from the airport to the resort was about 30 minutes long which was a very acceptable length for us hot and sweaty travellers. We were greeted at the entrance to the lobby and our luggage was taken inside. We were promptly handed a cold glass of champagne while we spoke to the conceirge about our room. We were then assigned to a butler who walked us to our room. On the way he gave us a brief overview of the hotel and showed us the map. Our luggage was waiting for us when we arrived in the room.
Room: AMAZING! The butler asked us what we did to get this room (as did other travellers nearby). It was a corner, swim-up, romance suite. The entrance was privately situated at the end of the hall and we were stunned when we walked in. Everything was sparkling and clean. There were rose petals on the bed and champagne chilling in the mini-fridge. We had a jacuzzi in the room as well. Unlike other rooms, ours had two sliding doors leading out to a deck with two chairs on it, as well as two chairs in the pool right at our doorstep. It was all very private and romantic. There were only a few things I would change but they are VERY minor. Firstly, I would have preferred the mini-fridge to be kept at a cooler temperature. The endless Presidente beer that we drank was a little bit warm at times. Also, the floors were marble and therefore VERY slippery when wet so I had to tip toe around to avoid falling after coming out of the pool. Otherwise it was fantastic. Like a little apartment. In fact, one night we sat and drank wine on the back deck. Very quiet, romantic, and wonderful.
Resort: The grounds are beautiful! Very lush and well maintained. Tropical looking and smelling. Saw lizards, flamingos, and other tropical birds walking around. There are 4 resorts all connected as part of the Palladium. The Royal Suites is an adult-only, quieter, and more exclusive feeling part. Whereas in the other 3 sections you may find more young people, kids, loud drinkers, smaller rooms, and busier pools. People who stay in the Royal Suites have access to every other section on the resort. However, you cannot enter the RS section unless you are staying there. We enjoyed walking around and exploring the other bars and pools, however it was nice to come back to the RS where it was a bit more romantic and champagne was offered at every bar :). Getting around the resort isn't too difficult. You can walk or else there is a train that comes around and stops at specified areas. For RS guests, golf carts are offered. We HIGHLY recommend tipping golf cart drivers from the Royal Suites. They would drive around the grounds all day and night looking for RS guests to pick up. On one occaision a driver (Oscar) drove past a crowd of people waiting in front of a closing lobby bar to grab us because he had remembered our tip from the day before. Very worth it!
Service: The resort advertises the butler service, which is fine, however they are not overly helpful. We tipped our butler, Santos, $20 upon arrival. I dont think that was entirely necessary. He was a very very nice man, its just that he wasn't around for the whole week and there really wasnt much that we needed him to do. The housekeeping staff was fantastic! They would create swans out of towels and always supply our room with fresh flowers. Our tip for getting good service at this resort is to TIP! Tip everyone a dollar and you will be happy you did. We left a dollar everyday for the housekeepers and people who stocked the mini-fridge for us. We also made sure to tip the amazing bartender in the swim-up bar (David), so that when we swam up he would come right over to us with our drinks with no delay. The wait staff at the restaurants was very attentive. I noticed that many reviews mention the language barrier between the guests and staff. We did not find this to be a problem at all. We picked up a small phrase book at the airport before we left and that was all we needed to get by. Most people spoke passable english and we enjoyed learning new spanish words from the people who didn't.
Food: This is the only category I would say needed some improvement. There are several buffets arond the resort with all of them serving more or less the same things. The one in the RS is smaller than the others but is connected to a larger one from the Palace section next door. The food on the buffet is very good...at first. After a few days it became a bit tiresome. It wasn't bad tasting at all, just not enough selection. There are quite a few restaurants on the resort. We only tried 3 because after we tried the Royal Suites restaurant we were hooked. The food was very good here. Steak, Lobster, Lamb...all free for RS guests whereas it would cost upwards of $30 for people from other sections. Le Chanterelle is right next to the RS restaurant and the food is equally delicious. We would recommend this to honeymooning couples. It was very romantic sitting on the patio, and enjoying the sizzling chateaubriand for two. The last restaurant we tried was not on in the RS section, the Spanish restaurant. The food was OK but not great. It is also difficult to get into many of these other restuarants which is why they recommend that you book your reservations for the week on the day you arrive. Our one complaint about the food (and biggest complaint about the resort in general) is food being available during the day as well as room service. There was no food service by the pool or beach and the breakfast buffets on the RS side closed by 11am (which was not great for late sleepers) and didnt reopen until much later. So the options were to walk over to a buffet in another section (about 20 mins) or to order room service. We alternated between these two options throughout the trip. The room service was very mediocre to say the least. We tried ordering it for lunch, dinner, and late night (its open 24 hours) and at all times we would have to try calling at least 5 times before getting someone to pick up the phone. So dont rely on this if you are very hungry! When the food arrived it wasn't very good. My hamburger was raw and everything else was just a bit bland. The breakfast for two was pretty good. A tons of eggs, bacon, potatoes, and toast on a big platter. The fresh fruit platter delivered was quite good as well. So we would recommend ordering that.There are also mini-fridges situated next to some of the bars in the RS where you could get a ham and cheese sandwich or a plate of fresh fruit at any point during the day which was handy at times. You could also (of course) purchase snacks from the store as well.
Pool & Beach: Keep in mind when you are reading this that we are POOL people and prefer to stay there mostly anyways. That being said, we were not overly impressed by the beach. There were plenty of chairs and canopy beds to lie on, except they were covered with sand ants. We walked down the beach on our first day and my husbands legs were COVERED in little red bites. I saw quite a few other people with the same problem. I wish that this wasn't the case because it was truly a gorgeous beach to look at. Very tropical, blue water, and fun vendors that were just outside the boarder of the resort. I got my hair braided there one day. Nice people and not too pushy, just trying to make a living! The pool on the RS side was fantastic. There was a swim up bar, lounge chairs in and out of the water, and the scenery was amazing. Our daily routine was to get up, eat, and float in the pool all day. Very relaxing, bring a book and enjoy. Around 3 or 4 people come in to drink which is fun. Met lots of nice people. Mostly couples, and honeymooners which was fantastic. The other pools in the resort had volleyball, loud music, more people, deeper water etc but we were perfectly happy in ours. Our favourite part of the trip by far. Also, as I mentioned before, get a swim up suite! Having that extra (more private) pool to jump into as well was amazing. Plus there is a waitress that comes around to the suites to bring drinks to you while you're in your pool. Loved that.
Nightlife & drinking: There is no shortage of alcohol on this resort. They stock bottles of it in your room and it is offered everywhere you go. MY TIP is this: YOU MUST find a coconut and get a bartender to make you a "coco loco" in it. One day we gave a gardener a dollar to cut the top off of a fresh coconut. We took it to a bartender and he added fruit, flowers, and umbrellas to make the best drink ever. I highly recommend this. My husband and I are both 25 and knew right off the bat that we would not enjoy the "disco" on the resort. However we did try it out once. We walked in, it was too loud to speak, smelt like vomit, and was filled with teenagers so we left. Right NEXT to the disco is the sports bar which was a bit better. It is open 24 hours (other bars closed at 3), had several televisions, and a buffet of finger foods (pizza, wings, chicken fingers, etc). It also has the only ATM on the resort but keep in mind that it only dispenses Pasos not American dollars. So take out your tipping/spending money beforehand. The BEST nightlife on the resort was in the Palace Section lobby. It is within walking distance from the RS and seemed to fill up every night with a fun crowd of people our age. They had different local music every night which inspired my husband and I to try dancing the "rumba". Very embarassing (but fun!). The bartenders were amazing and would keep the drinks flowing. We also went to a beach party one night. There was a tiki bar, bonfire and tons of people having fun. There was a show with dancers who were calling people out of the audience to chug a beer, spin around ten times, and run in a straight line. I was one of the people who did this. Perhaps a regrettable decision but my husband found this to be very funny.
Casino: We love casinos and tried this one out a few times. It is quite close by but there are a few flaws. First, we have to warn people: when we walked in they told us to go and play this very sketchy game. You roll dice which add up to a number and if your number adds up high enough than you win ALOT of money. Problem is, if you roll certain numbers you have to double the amount you bet per roll. Bottom line is we lost about $200. We saw on the Government of Canada travel advisory afterwards that this was a well known scam in Carribean casinos and that we should avoid it. Oh well, lesson learned. Also, you have to pay for alcohol if you dont gamble which seems pointless at an AI resort.
Activities & Spa: There are lots of things to do at this resort and if you wanted to you could have a full schedule everyday. We considered going parasailing or on a boatride or something but we really did prefer to just relax. We met people who did those things, everyone who went on the ziplining adventure spoke very highly of it. You also have a pay for all of the additional acitvities. We did use the sports centre one day which was pretty fun. We played badminton, beach volleyball and mini golf. There are also basketball and tennis courts and a soccer field. All of these acitvities were free. You could also rent bikes. The spa was INCREDIBLE. We went for a couple's massage one day which was a highlight of the trip. It was about $100USD for both of us. We were told to arrive about an hour before so we could enjoy the oasis room inside the spa. There were several different pools and hot tubs in a very relaxing environment. Our massages were 50 mins long and were done in the same room. It is a full spa and does a variety of treatments. Well worth it.
Weather & Safety: As I mentioned at the beginning of the trip, it was pouring rain when we arrived. I was so nervous and even asked my mom to google the forcast for the week in Punta Cana. She said they called for rain everyday!!! However, I spoke to a few local people who said that they ALWAYS call for rain everyday. The weather was perfect so dont let this be a deterrent to you. It did rain everyday around 4pm but for about 10 minutes. Just enough to cool you down. Otherwise it was sunny and VERY hot. We both wore SPF 30 the whole trip and still got a little burnt. We had no issues as far as safety was concerned. I am not sure what it was but for some reason this resort felt very safe compared to others. It is smaller and well lit at night. We felt very comfortable walking home at night, and I even felt comfortable walking alone. The town outside the resort was slightly impoverished looking, however security was very good and the staff was very friendly.
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed this review. If you are considering taking your honeymoon at the Royal Suites Turquesa my husband and I would highly recommend it. Our 4 out of 5 rating reflects the facts that a few minor things could be changed. Overall this resort is quite amazing. I hope that our tips help you on your trip!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.