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“Don't do it” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Secrets Royal Beach

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Secrets Royal Beach
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Av Alemania S/N | El Cortecito, Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #9 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Don't do it”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2010

Ah, where to begin?...my husband and I stayed at this resort for 5 nights and we couldn't wait to get back home. We had been waiting for this vacation for some time and a lot of time and research went into booking this trip (apparently not quite enough though). We chose to ignore the bad reviews and found them to be right on the money for the most part. To be fair, there are certainly some great things about this resort, and like someone mentioned in a previous review, there is a good deal of potential. However, there are some major overhauls that are needed in order to get this to the level of a true luxury resort, as it claims to be.

We've used TripAdvisor quite a bit for booking vacations and always appreciate the honest reviews. This is the first time that we've actually sat down to write a review about a place ourselves, and it's only because we feel the need to let others know what to expect of this resort. To start, the grounds and the beach look like they do in the pictures. Very nice and the sand is super soft, like brown sugar. There is quite a bit of seaweed but it does get cleaned regularly; not much that can be done about that. It's a fairly new resort and they certainly can make it much better than it is now.

The rooms - we finally understood what people meant about the musty smell once we got there. It's in the towels, the pillows, just in the air. I washed my bathing suit one night and hung it up to dry only to find it still almost completely wet a day and a half later! We were on the ground floor and some have mentioned that it may be due to that, but I get the impression it was the same to some extent on the higher floors as well. The bathroom was nice but it also seemed to have that moldy, mildewy smell. All of our clothes acquired that smell after being in the room for six days and we washed them immediately upon arriving back home to get that stench out. They are nice rooms otherwise. I will say that someone mentioned earlier that it echoes so loudly in the hallways from people talking (or yelling) as they are walking by and I'm surprised that not that many people have brought it up as it can be extremely annoying when you are trying to sleep.

We got sunburned the first day, so my advice on that is just make sure to bring adequate sunscreen for the powerful sun so that you don't have to shell out $20-$30 for some sunscreen at the gift shop that you could buy back home for under $10. Same goes for the aloe/after sun lotion (or anything really) - bring your own unless you want to pay double or triple.

And finally...the one thing that has gotten quite a bit of complaints and that ruined the entire trip for us - the food. There are little things here and there that could be improved upon and are minor inconveniences and could be easily overlooked. But this absolutely cannot be. For the money you pay, you expect to get some quality out of the food. We spoke with other guests and the general opinion was that the food was just terrible. As others mentioned, you had to make reservations at the restaurants, which were always completely booked except for one or two and then you got there to find half the restaurant empty. They were probably better than the buffet though, which was...I cannot find words to describe this. Suffice it to say there are a very few things that are good, a handful that are decent, and the rest are just plain awful. The staff is nice indeed but how can you tip when the food is horrible? And when it makes you sick? As I type, we have gotten back home and visited the nearby urgent care for the diarrhea and overall nausea that started halfway through our trip and hasn't completely let up since. A couple hours spent at the urgent care after getting back from our trip and a round of antibiotics later (for both of us), all I can say is - it is not worth it. If you have the strongest stomach known to man and can deal with food that has no flavor and that makes you sick then go for it. Otherwise, save yourself the trouble and don't waste your money like we did. We're still trying to figure out what it was exactly that made us sick, but honestly, it doesn't matter. It was enough to convince us that we would never go back and that we wouldn't recommend this resort (or Punta Cana in general) to anyone. As a closing remark, I found it funny that the doctor at the urgent care told me that just in the past week he had seen another couple that had gotten back from Punta Cana sick and miserable with a stomach bug just like us. Definitely don't do it to yourself. If you still think it will be ok and want to take the risk, at least do yourself the favor and pack a mini medicine chest to hold you over until you can get back home and see your doctor, which you inevitably will have to do.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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glenwood, nj
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2010

Loved the beauty and cleanliness of this place. Right next door at the NH Real is another world. Run down and overcrowded. We were so pleased we went with the top choice. The staff was lovely. Deibei and Dewar at the pool bar were fabulous and hardworking. The young girl with them had trainee on her tag was equally wonderful. Girl at reception during day could use a little attitude adjustment. Restaurant staff are so wonderful and hard working. They need more light weight uniforms. They were sweating so much. Felt bad for them. Food was good. Buffet immaculate. Good selection. Beach palapas too close together and was never waited on for drinks while on the beach. Didn't mind going to pool bar but sometimes it would have been nice. Beach gorgeous. Great security. Very serious. Felt very safe. Rooms gorgeous and immaculate. Need facial tissues in the rooms. Very odd not there. Wish we could have stayed longer and would definetly go back.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2010

My husband and I stayed here from May 14 to the 21st. Our check in went smoothly and we were greeted with a cold drink. We requested an ocean front room and we were upgraded to a suite for an extra 40 dollars a night. The money was well worth it. We were put in a suite -ocean front- two bathrooms-living area with pull out couch and table and chairs. The bedroom was huge. The balcony had a round hot tub and a shower. Nice table and chairs and a lounge chair. Our suite however was part of the NH Arena which wasn't a problem because we could use both resorts. The only thing I didn't like was that all the activities and entertainment were in the Arena resort. The resort is quite spread out but you can call and get a golf cart to take you where you want to go.

Food was average at the buffet and we always found something we liked. But the different resorts we have been to in the past have had much better food. We did order room service several times and it was good and arrived in about 25 minutes. We only went to the Mexican restaurant and it was very good but not Mexican food.

The best part of this resort is the workers and the beach. The people work very hard and they are so friendly and cannot do enough for you. The beach is awesome!! No vendors on the beach but they do come to the resort twice a week and that is really nice. Just remember to bargain with them on the price of the items you want.

Last I would like to say if you are looking for a very quiet and relaxing place this is it. This was a good deal for the money we paid. I was however disappointed because this was our 43rd anniversary and my husbands 65th birthday and we were given nothing special for this even though I did mention this when we checked in. I would love to go back to Punta Cana but would probably stay somewhere different only because I like to try different resorts.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2010

From start to finish, our stay at Royal Beach was relaxing and memorable. The hotel is very clean and modern and the rooms are huge. Every single staff member we encountered was smiling and helpful. This hotel definitely exceeds expectations when it comes to service. A few high notes: the beach is beautiful and chairs were plentiful. The service at the buffet, Pure, and the Mexican restaurant was top-notch. Many, many thanks to Neudy and the rest for their attentive and gracious service... my glass was never empty, not once. The entertainment staff on the Real side worked very hard and we thoroughly enjoyed the Cirque-style show. I will definitely return.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2010

Ok well i have stayed and the NH Real and NH Royal. My recent visit to the NH Royal was not to good. The Service from the people is great. The food on the other hand had to be the worst i have ever had. There is only so many days you can eat chicken fingers and french fries. Come on NH need to switch up the chefs. Now on to something else the A/C besides there is no air conditioning in the resort besides your room and that goes off at about 2am. The restaurants have no A/C which i cant understand for the life of me made dinner very unenjoyable. And now for the casino seemed like they shut off the air in the casino at 11pm. Which i couldnt understand you would think they would keep it coldest in there so you stay there gambling. I personally think the NH Royal needs a management face lift. As far as all the workers they are great Esther at the front desk couldnt be anymore helpful she was there for anything you needed Ramon the bell boy he is the best he actually remembered me from my last stay which was surprising. Bartenders were great.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Hoboken, New Jersey
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2010

Ok here is a VERY honest review of the resort:

Rooms: Very Nice, spacious but sparsely decorated. The beds were very comfortable and the shower and bathroom was a nice size. I did not get the humidty everyone talked about and found the large shower very nice. There is water on the floor but they give you a bath mat you can use so it is really not a big deal. 2 sinks, very nice, comfortable bed. The air was so so. It never gets really cold but it was comfortable. Great hot tub on the balcony and great large space. Overall very happy with the room. The room was on the 3rd floor and the elevator did not work for most of stay. That was not so fun coming home after a night of drinking. I brough damp rid hangers with me and I put one in the bathroom, 1 in my closet and 1 in the living room to soak up some of the humidity and they really do work. It pulled out a lot of water in the room. I always bring them to keep my clothes from getting mildew smelling. They do work. I advise people to bring a few. It definitely helped

Beach: Very nice and very wide. The water was beautiful and clear. We did get seaweed wash in 2 days of our stay but what are you going to do it is nature. Overall I was very happy with the beach. The water is calm as glass and very little waves which is very nice for relaxing. There are always enough chairs, huts and palm trees. We are also allowed to use the NH Arena beach area as well. Very nice. Also there were NO beach vendors hassling you on the beach. They have security everywhere to keep them away gand it was very relaxing. I heard others complain about no beach service. We had it every day so they definitely have drink service on the Royal side of the resort. My one big complaint was the walk way. There is NO direct walkway to the beach. You have to walk in circles around the entire lazy river and get decapitated by the huts around the pool. They really should have umbrella's as they would take up less space. Also they huts are very low and hard to maneuver around. Also there is no clear cut walk way to the beach it is a big maze. We ended up cutting through the buffet restaurant every day like white trash carrying our floats. Not pretty but it worked :-)

Now on to my major complaint the Food: The food was bad!! The buffet was awful. Really bad!!Repetitive is not the word. Same for Lunch and Dinner. All they do is throw in a new meat or 2 and that is is. WORST buffet I ever had at an all inclusive. Also the a la cartes are the worse as well. Every other resort I have ever stayed at you had a choice of 3-5 appetizers, 5 or so entrees, salads, pasta something. Here every a la carte is a fixed menu. No choice of Appetizer, Salad, Soup, only had a choice of entree and only 2 choices a fish or a meat. The Mexican restaurant as other scomplained is not mexican it is more of a continential I guess. Not really what I expected. They have an appetizer bar and a salad bar than you get your entree sit down. One of the better of the a la cartes but still mediocre at best. The best restaurant was the italian. Even though a pretty fixed menu the best quality of choices. The French was just bad. We stayed at Dreams Palm beach last year and at dinner the a la cartes had full menus with lots of choices like a regular restaurant and you could have whatever you wanted. Also another pet peave of mine was NO drinks in any of the restaurants. Only the house drink of the night, wine, beer, soda or champagne. Every other AI I have ever been to they could bring you a Pina Colada, Margarita whatever and no menu deviations at all. And the all time worst was the reservation system. At Dreams you did NOT have to make reservations at all and you could simply go to dinner at whatever time you wanted and whatever restaurant you wanted and they would give you a beaper like at home and call you when your table was ready. Much much better system. Of all the AI places I have stayed the NH had one of the worst reservation systems. I made friends with the resident manager Clara our first day at she took care of it for us but it was not an easy system and the food was one of the worse ever experienced at an all inclusive. They guest services folks would tell you nothing was available and the only opening was 9-9:30 and than the manager got us in a 8 and there were 10+ empty tables. Very frustrating. Also every other resort I ever stayed at there is swing restaurant opened for later risers and for those who wanted an afternoon snack. Here the breakfast was done by 10:30 and everywhere else was 11 am. I am up every day for work at 5 am, on vacation I want to sleep in and I couldn't even get a cup of coffee. Since I couldn't get dinner reservations until 9 pm most nights I would have loved an afternoon snack to hold me over to dinner and there was nothing opened after 4 pm until 7.

Entertainment:

Was pretty boring. Not much to do. To be honest ,to me the NH Arena the cheaper sister property seemed to be a nicer resort. All of the amenities and the better restaurants were there. The bar was nicer, the night club was there, the spa. I am not sure why the Royal Beach was worth more money. To be honest I didn't see the value. You could eat at the Mexican Restaurant and the Restaurant Pure if you stayed at the Royal beach and if you stayed at the other resort you were not allowed, but they were nothing to write home over so didn't really see the value. You can walk over or take the tram the Arena every night to enjoy the amenities anyway. Also the people were younger and more fun at the Arena side. At night not much to do. The casino was tiny if you wanted to call it that. The club was NOT air conditioned so it was hot as hell and Men are absolutely NOT allowed to wear shorts anywhere and had to wear pants at every restaurant. It was so hot and very annoying. I wanted to wear short at least to 1 place in the resort one night and was not allowed. Women could wear shorts, flip flops whatever they wanted but men not so. At Dreams there was a beach restaurant and the buffet where you could wear shorts. Would have been nice at least 1 or 2 nights out of our 14 day vacation. Shows were not great either and no AC as they were outside so if it rained which it did almost every evening there was no show.

Staff:

Clara the resident manager was very very accomodating and very sweet. She really tried to make our stay nice. It was my friends Birthday while we were there and she made dinner reservations for us that night and had balloons in my friends room. They were very nice. Service wise the staff could NOT do enough. Everyone was thank you it was my pleasure etc. Service was very very good!! Esther at the front desk was very accomodating with our rooms and put us close to the beach. Gave us beach views etc. I cannot say enough nice things about the staff.

I am not a huge fan of AI resorts personally but the friends and family I travel with do not earn what I earn so AI resorts are more budget friendly and they like paying one price. I go because I want to be with them and enjoy our time together. We go away every year in may together for the last 20 years and always stay at an AI. Here are the things I do not like about AI's: The Reservation systems for dinner at the a la cartes. I find it such a hassle. Have to get drinks self serve most times and have to go to the bar from the beach. Everything is plentiful but self serve. The food quality is not what you would receive if you were paying for each meal at a restaurant. Also you have to slup rafts from home, thermal cups and generally service is geared up towards self service. At Dreams last yearI was spoiled. Finally an AI resort I could get on board with, All the things I hate about AI's they addressed, No reservations required for dinner, Shorts allowed in some restaurants, rafts available on the beach so you do not have bring from home or slup every day to the beach, no towel cards so you don't have to towel hoard and run to return them every day, food was like fine dining at a restaurant you pay for instead of mass produced food, drink service on the beach and poolside. I think I was expecting this resort to be on par with last year's experience and you live and learn.

This resort is nice and will probably meet most needs but compared to Dreams it falls short. Dreams I had NOT one complaint the entire vacation, Room, Food, Service, Amenities, Grounds, Food, Spa, etc. Everything was perfect. NH Royal beach was not the same and had complaints about food, resort lay out and the extra's were not included. No MP3 in the room, dvd player in the room and never received turn down service which I received every night at Dreams.

Overall a good value for what we paid but CANNOT compare to Dreams and if you want a really have a top notch vacation pay a little extra and go to Dreams as this resort did not compare. I hope this was helpful. Oh almost forgot to mention. I read some guests had diarea. I had it the whole time. No matter what I ate I got it.I avoided water, still got it. I avoid fruit and thought maybe it was the fruit still go it. I think they use unpurified water to cook and wash the fruits and veggies so I got sick. I did NOT get sick at Dreams at all. I read another review and I am having the same stomach issues and I am home a week now myself! I would definitely take lomitil or amodium with you in case!! Or just go to Dreams and avoid the whole thing all together :-)

Good luck and if you have any questions email me.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2010

The thing I enjoyed the most about the Hotel was the friendly service or staff, the food, and the location. The staff was very nice and helpful; in particular, a lady named "Jacquelin" and two bar tenders: Dewars and Junior.

I think something that would have made my stay excellent would be a better ventilation at clubs, bars, and lobby. For example- Club Thantra did not have any fans therefore was super hot.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secrets Royal Beach

Address: Av Alemania S/N | El Cortecito, Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#7 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#9 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#11 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Royal Beach 4.5*
Number of rooms: 373
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®. 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 
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Also Known As:
Secrets Royal Beach Hotel Punta Cana

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