We have just returned from Grand Palladium Punta Cana after a very nice and relaxing family vacation. We travelled as a family of 4, with kids aged 6 and 3 yo.
We mostly stayed by the pool with several trips to the beach. We didn't eat in any a-la carts since we weren't willing to line up at 5:30 or wait for an hour. The buffet was quite sufficient for us. I would consider returning to this resort again.
Here is the list of things that made this vacation excellent and would possibly get me to return:
Cleanliness of the hotel - outstanding. There was always somebody cleaning something. The maids were working well into the late afternoon, always someone sweeping the paths, cleaning up spills at the buffet. The bathrooms by the pools were cleaned constantly. I've never seen such clean bathrooms by any pool in any other resort. Clean and dry floors and counters, with fresh flowers everywhere.
Service - always friendly, and reasonably quick. A lot of people speak half decent english or at least try to. We were always able to get our point across with a mixture of a few words in bad spanish and some english. Smiles and good manners went a long way.
Value - great resort for the money we paid. I've been to more expensive resorts and didn't enjoy them any more than this one, maybe even less.
Grounds - beautiful, lush, manicured. The layout of the resort is VERY convenient. Staying in building 3000 we were close to everything within a couple minutes of walk. Never had to take the train anywhere even with little kids and no stroller.
Pools - all kinds of beautiful and clean pools all over the resort, kids Pirate Ship was a big hit. Swim up bars were great fun and also very clean.
Beach - was very nice, but water a little choppy and strong undertow.
Check in/check out - a non event. 5 minutes to check in, 30 seconds to check out. Amazing.
Food - decent choice, safe, available. We didn't lose any weight on this trip.
Things that were annoying to me and may possibly prevent me from going here agian:
People trying to sell me stuff all the time. There's the guy who designs t-shirts, there's the excursions people, there's the vendors' booths, and all of these things and people are set up strategically at all entrances and exits to the common areas to make sure they get your attention. And if the set locations are not enough, they roam around the pool and the beach and try to start talking to you as you are lying around. I found a way to smile and say no,gracias to make them go away. If that didn't work I just ignored and kept walking without making eye contact or engaging in conversation.
The towel games. Couldn't stand it. This was the first time that I witnessed the towel games being played on such a grand scale. If you were not by the pool/beach by 9:30, you can forget about a seat in the shade. And by 10 you can forget about getting a seat, period. Lucky for us, it turned out that my husband was VERY good at this game and was up before 7am every morning to get us a good spot, so we always had shade. The most annoying part of this, however, was seeing all the empty chairs around us with towels on them well in to the afternoon, and noone coming to claim them. There has to be a better way to manage the chair situation.
Things that other people have said about the resort, but were of no consequense to us - true or false:
The buildings are aging and are showing signs of wear & tear - true. Bedding was worn, the sheets seemed to be too short for the mattress, some mildew and peeling paint here and there throughout bathroom and bedroom. Matresses are of the cheap springy kind with soft edges, easy for kids to roll out of bed if not used to that. Having said all this, a lot of work is being done to keep the property in good shape. While we were there, I saw them repair missing tiles in the pool and replace palm leaf roof on the pathway from the lobby to the buffet.
Things don't always work - true. Our AC worked but was very noisy and the thermostat was stuck on one setting and could not be changed. The hair dryer self destructed in my hand with a flash and a burning smell after about 15 seconds.
Tipping is required - false. We did not tip very much at the buffets and did not see other people tipping a lot either. Service was fine, sometimes with smiles, sometimes not, but always courteous. A couple of times we had to repeat our requests for coffee or water or whatever, but it was not because of lack of tips, they were just busy. We tipped the maid every day and it seemed to make no difference. We didn't get any flowers in the room or any towel animals, but the room got cleaned including the floors on the balcony and the bath tub.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa enjoys a privileged, sea-front location on the renowned Playa Bavaro. The resort, located on a sprawling estate of lush tropical vegetation and a coconut plantation, is next to the Grand Palladium Bavaro Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino & Royal Suites. The facilities of these adjoining resorts are open to guests of the Grand Palladium Punta Cana (excluding the Royal Suites). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
- Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort And Spa
- Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort Spa