I just returned from a week’s stay at Secrets Royal Beach (June 7-June 14). I have stayed all inclusive a couple of times before (Mexico and D.R.) and have to promise you this resort is not worth your money. There are plenty of options in Punta Cana, keep looking. I can not understand these 5 star reviews being given by previous travelers, as that was not our experience at all! The only thing that is excellente is the entertainment crew (Charlie Brown, Milky Way and Akon were our favorites) and many of the other people who work here (David and Jose in the NOW Buffet, Nelson at the beach grill to name a few). They deserve the 5 star reviews. The grounds are lovely, the beach is beautiful, and the resort is very, very clean. There is no free wi-fi available, not even in the lobby like every other resort I’ve been to.
We had a private transfer through Olympus. I think our driver was Gabriel. He was FABULOUS. I joked with him when we got in, asking where was the cold beer. He actually stopped at a store and ran in and got us some Presidente Light and a couple of paper cups!! We thought his service was going to be the start of an incredible week, but sadly, it was not an indication of what was to come at the resort. We tipped him $40 for the 30 minute ride. We are easy to please and truly appreciate good service.
We arrived early to the hotel, as our flight landed around noon, so I didn’t expect our room to be ready until 3. The cool towels and glass of champagne are nice touches that you get at any resort. Sure enough, we were asked to return at 3PM. I emailed the hotel manager with a room request (top floor, quiet location, sunny side) a week before my arrival. Futile effort, as our room assignment was ground floor on the shady/dark side of the resort. I requested a change. We were told to come back at 4PM. Then we were told to come back at 5PM. Finally, at 6PM we were given a room. Never were we offered the use of a hospitality room to change into our swimsuits and freshen up. At first glance, the room was nice. It was very clean and didn’t smell musty at all. The mini bar was empty. Yes, completely empty and the ceiling fan was rattling so hard I thought it would fall to the floor. Maintenance came and removed the chain from it’s light so the noise would be less and mini bar service arrived (warm). This room also had a leaking toilet which we didn’t discover until 10PM when we returned from dinner our first night. Despite numerous visits from maintenance telling us it was fixed, the floor continued to flood. Given the lighting conditions in the room, this was quite dangerous. You couldn’t see the water, but would slip on the floor. Finally, at the end of our second day of complaining about the toilet we were moved to another room without even an apology for the inconvenience. We had to pack all our things and unpack again. Honestly, this is not 5 star service. It was stressful, frustrating and wasteful of my precious vacation time. This room smelled very musty and was still very close to the plaza (nighttime noise until after 11PM.) The TV didn’t work, but was quickly replaced by maintenance twice and again the ceiling fan rattled to the point that we couldn’t use it while sleeping. At the end of the week, I went to the front desk to request a delayed checkout (1.5 hours) and Edward (the same desk clerk who I complained to about all the room problems) told me it would be an extra $20. I told him it would be $0 dollars given all of the problems we had. I was appalled that he would try to charge me. Yet another example of poor service.
Pay attention to all the reviews about the lighting conditions- they still exist. The lighting is beyond horrible. We couldn’t see a thing while trying to apply our makeup and do our hair. We had a problem with our shower running out onto the floor as well. There’s only a slight lip of the floor to stop the water and our drain didn’t keep up with the shower and overflowed onto the floor. A second bathmat would have helped, but despite asking every day, we only got an extra one time. The beds are ok. Not amazingly comfortable like most high end resorts and the linens in the second room smelled musty.
We found the food to be mostly inedible. The only good meals we had were at the Carnival buffet on the NOW side. Who wants to spend $4,000.00 to eat buffet all week? The food at Spice was good, but the Hibachi ‘show’ was a joke. Our chef and his sidekick simply cooked/served the food. They rushed you out of there in 45 minutes. The Seaside Grill wasn’t awful. I had the lamb special one night and the rib eye another. Both were edible. The beachside barbeque was good for lunch as well. Nelson was excellent and took very good care of us each day at lunch! We tried Capers: Worse meal of the week. TV/Frozen dinner quality. (We ordered the pork and the beef. Not sure what it really was. But the meat was paper thin and the sauce was just a salty disgusting mess.) Oceana Grill, Bluewater Grill, both disgusting. If you need to watch your salt intake, be very careful at this resort. The food is incredibly salty (even the cheeseburgers at the beachside grill). We found the service to be inconsistent. Even at the same restaurant from the same server. The drinks are very, very weak unless you specifically watch them make your drink and tell them how much alcohol to pour in. The lobby bar at NOW was a much nicer spot to relax and have a drink before/after dinner. All in all, though, the people are outstanding at this resort. Very friendly and outgoing for the most part.
One thing that was awful was the number of inconsiderate smokers at this resort. They would smoke right at the table at the outside restaurants blowing the smoke right at us while we were trying to eat. The plaza (the only place with night time entertainment at Secrets) was also unbearable thanks to the smokers. In this day and age, resorts need to segregate smokers even outside. Non-smokers should not have to endure that while enjoying the outdoor venues. We had to move time and time again to get away from the smoke.
I can’t comment on the pool, as we’re beach people and never spent any time at the pool. The beach did have a lot of seagrass, but the workers raked and picked it up from the shoreline all day long. There was a lot of traffic in the area, but that didn’t bother us at all. This is not a quiet beach by any means given the activities with the entertainment crew, the vendors selling tours, and the boat traffic. There aren’t enough huts and I was up early every day to ensure we got a front row hut (view and breeze). There are two vendor shopping areas within walking distance and we thoroughly enjoyed going to both of them. All in all, we enjoyed ourselves. We met many terrific people and loved relaxing all day long on the beach. We weren’t about to let anything ruin our vacation, and we surely had a wonderful time, but there are far better resorts out there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally situated on the picturesque palm-studded, sugar white Playa Bavaro beach on the eastern coastline of the Dominican Republic, Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana offers adults all the privileges of Unlimited-Luxury(R). Guests will immediately be embraced within an extraordinary environment where luxury illuminates every detail and our high level of personal service is unmatched. To ensure your romantic escape is everything you've imagined, every detail of your stay will be flawlessly provided and superbly attended to. From the fine quality linens to the daily refreshed mini bar and the unlimited premium brand beverages to the pool and beach wait service. You'll be immersed within a world of stunning architectural design coupled with resplendent views of the lush gardens, crystal-clear Caribbean Sea and dazzling swimming pools. This tranquil, romantic haven in Playa Bavaro is like nothing else you've ever experienced before. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Secrets Royal Beach Hotel Punta Cana