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“Amazing escape” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Palace at Playa Grande

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The Palace at Playa Grande
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle Rio San Juan | Playa Grande, Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Rio San Juan
Austin, TX
1 review
“Amazing escape”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

We took our first trip to the DR without doing much research, and we chose the Balaji Palace on a whim. We couldn't have been more pleased with the results. The grounds were immaculate and welcoming, and the staff was so professional and friendly. We felt like we were spoiled rotten every minute of every day by Juan Carlos, Felipe, Charlie, Javier, Cynthia, Romana and Ruby. We felt like part of the family - a very nice family who attended to your every desire.

This part of the DR is far enough away from the tourism to be a real escape, which was a huge selling point for us. We heard stories that development is making its way to that part of the island, which is a shame, but sadly inevitable. This is a glorious place with the kindest people you'll ever meet. Don't hesitate to go, just don't tell too many people. :)

Room Tip: All of the rooms are nice, but the ones away from the pool are quieter. The cliffside rooms are glor...
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  • Stayed May 2012, 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Clemmons, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

We just got back from our trip from the palace on Feb 11 2013. We had a 5 night all inclusive, with alcohol package... We also had a jacuzzi room with balcony! THE cocktails WERE SO CONSISTANT From everyone who made them they were amazing!!

Benefits!! : 1. The room was amazing, the size of a studio the balcony, incredibly beautiful. We did not use the jacuzzi much, it took forever to fill up. If you are looking for a balcony they might have a balcony without the jacuzzi which I think will cost less. Either way it was amazing and I don't regret anything about this trip.

2.Staff? NOthing TO SAY EXCEPT WONDERFULLY PERFECT! Need I say more? THey respect you and help you and make you feel like a queen. All the reviews about Javier & Felipe are true! They are simply devine people inside and out and they made our trip more than perfect!!

3. The hole surrondings are beautiful, there are peacocks that roam the facility and the cleaning services are so clean!! THe place looks absolutly amazing. Some hotels you go to you see a lot of dirt and grime but NOT this one! Spotless and beautiful.

Things to know..
1. They have complimentary laundry services. SOme people on our trip were sad they didn't know about it or they would have packed less. We knew and that was a really nice feature.
2.There are eating times... make sure to find out the times for breakfast,lunch and dinner.
3.This place is so intimate and relaxing! At night you can hear the geckos, frogs and waves crashing. So serene
4. THERE IS NO TV Or PHONE in your room. If you are looking to get away from all that back home then this is your place! This was wonderful for us and we were very happy having no distractions and focused on being husband and wife.
5.There is a private beach however there wasn't as much to do as I had hoped! With that in mind there is still probably about 10 things to do in this location. There are excursions who a guy named Felix sets up for you and he's just wonderful. You can book them through the hotel.We did a monkey tour much closer to puerta plata airport. Felipe took us there. The staff is more than happy to take you anywhere you want to go for a cheaper price than regular cabs!
6.FOOD... The food was pretty good. I was surprised. The first 3 nights though it seemed a little bland... then by the fourth day the food had more flavor and more exoctic things to try. Everyones tastes are very different so we still enjoyed the food and the time.
7. I WOULD GO BACK AGaIN IF WE GOT THE THE CHANCE!!!! i loved everything about this plaCE..

Suggestions? I think an awesome food menu would really help.. Meaning I loved the choices however it might be more enticing esp for americans to have one really spicy dish, something authentic maybe something THAI and then something bland. Test all taste buds for all different kinds of people.
Lastly because this is a romantic private relaxing resort. I think the best thing for the manager to do would be to put a printed out piece of paper on your bed so when you arrive to your room instead of getting overwelmed with the beauty of the place and trying to remember anything that this paper on your bed will say..... what's going on with the palace....like there's complimentary laundry, a local beach near by,tips can be paid at the end of the visit, that there is complimentary bug spray and sun tan lotions on main floor and certain times to eat. That way everyone would know what's going on exactly and not find out something on their last night. AND THEY ALSO HAVE A PRETTY AMAZING SPA that you must try... i got a reflexolgy massage and it was wonderful. I think that would be a great way to still keep the beauty of this place and be able to relax immediatly when you arrive!

I LOVE THIS PLACE IF I WERE TO RATE IT I WOULD RATE IT A 10 and I will definitly tell everyone I know about this place... IF you want romance, seclusion and relaxation this is the place for you. The couples whom stayed were lovely as well. Did not feel croweded at all!
IF you can brush up on your spanish it's always a plus if not that's okay too because you will find that felipe and Javier will work with you!

Lastly Bed was kind of uncomfortable however we just managed and STILL HAd a wonderful trip! DO NOT NOT GO HERE because of a bed! Some people might actually like it.
THIS PLACE IS A MUST SEE AND VISIT! I WOULDN"T SAY IT IF IT WASN"T TRUE
BEautiful Place !!
YOu will be sorry if you do not go!!!!

We hope to come back some day! Thanks to all and everyone at the PALACE!

Room Tip: Definilty get a balcony! It's so worth the money!! If not get an ocean view! Love this place!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
North Carolina, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

My husband and I had absolutely the best experience possible! We visited late Jan, 2013 and were blown away by the whole experience. The intimate atmosphere was perfect. Much better for us than a large all-inclusive where you have to schedule your dinner or fight for a chair at the pool. During our trip there were 4-6 of us in the house the majority of the time and up to 13 by our last day but even with that plenty of room to find your own space and always feel as if you are the only ones there. As other reviews have stated the water pressure isn't perfect and the hot water heaters aren't enormous but it is certainly adaptable and makes for a little bit of a vacation story.If you are looking for dance clubs and a gym on property this isn't the place. If beauty, serenity, comfort, seclusion, and atmosphere are what you are looking for this is it! If you have a chance take it because the palace was more than we could have dreamed of!

We could not have asked for nicer staff Cynthia, Javier, Rosario, and Phillipe who went out of their way to make our stay perfect. Very clean and comfortable throughout.

We opted for the 3rd floor room with jacuzzi tub on the balcony and it was perfect to have the ocean view and jacuzzi tub combo (just plan 45-60min to fill up the tub). Every part of our stay was memorable from the peacocks greeting us at breakfast, turn down service, a few pool games, and the ability to spend the day poolside or in one of the various sitting areas curled up with a book. We chose to be completely unplugged and didn't bother with the tv or internet so I can't speak to those. We wanted to be away from it all and relax and that is exactly what we got.

Secluded: I was very impressed with the lack of hassling. No random vendors walking up on the beach due to the seclusion. We had a previous trip where we were awakened by a nearby nightclub late at night and there is no opportunity for that at the palace which was perfect! Shopping is a drive not a walk away.

While there if you are a scuba diver visit Pablo at Aqua adventures in Sosua..he was awesome! I would also recommend at least a local trip to Cabrera for one night of dancing. Dudu lagoon and cavern were a quick trip and worth jumping off the zipline!

Room Tip: We preferred 3rd floor with jacuzzi tub. Ocean front suites have the direct ocean view but are away...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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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NYC
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

We just got back from 4 days at the Balaji Palace and I feel like I need to write this review right away. First of all if you are thinking about going here and have not decided or are hesitant, my sincerest recommendation would be to go! Go Now!

This is not a hotel for everyone. For those who want to be entertained either by TVs, or slot machines, or musicians or theme nights, this is not a place for you. Nor is it for those expecting a traditional all-inclusive resort with lots of pools and shops and attractions and a choice of endless restaurants or buffets. This place is best suited for those who want to have a unique experience, get away from the every day noise, listen to and watch the ocean and decompress and disconnect from their busy lives. By design, there are no televisions or telephones in the rooms. The wifi is spotty, so don’t bring your laptop. Instead bring the books you have been meaning to read or borrow some from the hotel bookshelf, lay by the pool or engage with your fellow guests. If the latter is not for you, there is enough space on the property that even at full capacity you can snag a quiet space all to yourself. I will say that all the guests we did meet at the hotel were lovely and friendly and just as in awe of the place as we were. Those who understand that bigger is not always better will appreciate that this hotel is at once elegant and luxurious but also very laid back and unpretentious. The stay here is a wonderful and unique experience.

This boutique hotel unlike large hotels (no matter how nice, and I have stayed at some very nice luxury properties) has soul. Something that very few hotels are able to achieve. Largely this is due to their incredible staff overseen by Juan Carlos who is who himself is unbelievably accommodating. But, Javier, Filipe, Cynthia and Rosario are amazing. They are kind, fun, lovely, amazing folks who will make your stay memorable and make you feel like you are a temporary owner of a magnificent house on a cliff overlooking the ocean. They take such care to make sure that you are enjoying yourself. Because the hotel only has 13 rooms, the attention each guest gets is unparallel to anywhere else I have stayed. That is not to say that you are not left alone to do as you wish on the property, merely that if you should need something, there is someone there to help you right away and go above and beyond to provide whatever it is you are looking for.

The hotel sits behind a large gate down a long driveway of perfectly manicured grounds. It is surrounded by lush, gardens with an enormous variety of tropical flowers. Perfectly manicured and yet left to feel as if the hotel was built around the plants and not the other way around. The large airy rooms with balconies that open up to the grounds, some with views to the sea, are comfortable, not over the top and offer bathrobes slippers, plush towels etc. Each room has fresh tropical flowers upon arrival. There are large bathrooms, showers and closets. The air conditioning works well. The rooms and the hotel are immaculately clean. The rooms get cleaned twice a day and turndown service is offered nightly.

The small beach reached by the spiral staircase from the property is a lovely cove surround with cliffs on both sides. You could sit for hours and watch the water. Depending on the time of year the water can be calm or have big waves, but during our stay it was good enough for swimming though not completely calm. If your dream is to sit on a beach or poolside lined with hundreds of beach loungers this is not the place. This is the place for you if you want to swim in the ocean, lounge on the chair on your own on sit on the coral rocks for hours and enjoy the view. Despite other reviews, I don’t think it is true that the beach is not used. I think those who come here want to get away from it all and thus if they see someone on the beach will give them the courtesy of having it all to themselves and will then use it when empty. Numerous guests while we were there used the beach, but I never saw them when I was down there. If you are interested in going to a larger beach, Playa Grande is just a five-minute drive away and the staff will gladly take you if you don’t have your own car. Playa Grande is a long stretch of soft sand with palm trees lining it and is picture and never full.

It is hard to comment on the food as everyone has a different palette. Coming from NYC where the cuisines of the entire world are at your doorstep, the experience can be hit or miss, however the staff will go above and beyond to accommodate your tastes ahead of time. I am vegetarian and there was always an option for me on the menu at every meal. Breakfasts are simple affairs of eggs and fruit and toast. Still better than what one would have time for at home and exactly all one needs when one is having 3, 3-course meals a day. The serving sizes are just right, not over the top and if you wanted more than one item off the menu or were still hungry, I am certain that your request for more/different food would be accommodated in no time. The fruit is fresh and local, the coffee is strong and delicious and the surroundings wonderful. I have certainly had better meals than at this hotel, but there is something to be said for someone taking care of cooking for you and you just showing up and enjoying it. The food tends to be better in my opinion when the kitchen embraces the traditional Dominican/Caribbean cuisine instead of trying to cater to the American palette. A little more spices and a lot more local flavor would have been my choice, but this is so subjective, that everyone will feel differently. The seafood is really fresh and the traditional rice and beans very good and all the food is made to order. The hotel will ask prior to arrival of any food allergies, dislikes and dietary restrictions.

This place would also be amazing for a small wedding or another event.

The luxury snobs will likely find some faults with the place, maybe the pillows can be softer, the wine list better/bigger, the water pressure stronger, but in my opinion these things are so far outweighed by the benefits of the place, that if this would be your concern, maybe this is not the right place for you. And it is true that it is more expensive than other good hotels in the Dominican Republic, but I really believe that a four-night stay here will provide you with more rest and restoration than your cookie-cutter all-inclusive in Puerto Plata could in 7 days. So just go now.

Room Tip: Rooms on the 2nd floor are all lovely, but 2band 2c have great balconies with water views.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012 via mobile

The staff here is incredible. The waiters/bartenders (Felipe, Javier & Roselio) provide impeccable service and truly make you feel like the center of the universe. They are genuine and accommodating. I am a vegan and they adapted the menu to suit my dietary needs with delicious food. My boyfriend, an omnivore, also enjoyed all his meals. The manager, Juan Carlos, provides excellent customer service as well. They were having a slow week so he offered us a free upgrade. The basic room was lovely but the upgraded room was phenomenal. It was enormous and luxurious with an oceanfront view off the spacious balcony. The maids were also friendly and fastidious. Wilson was another member of the staff who drove us to the beach (playa grande) and was there to help us with whatever we needed. This place is breathtakingly gorgeous. Palace is not an exaggeration. We were lucky enough to be there during a slow week (early December before the holiday rush) so we were actually the only guests for a couple of days. We felt like the King & Queen. You can just stay at the palace and enjoy eating, drinking, taking in the views, swimming, playing pool & ping-pong, and just relaxing. There are also many activities in the area. Felipe, one of the waiters, was also our chauffeur and tour guide. If you buy him some gas he will drive you where you want to go, whether its the 27 waterfalls (recommended for adventurous travelers only!!!!!) or some of the nearby towns & beaches. Overall, it was paradise! We highly recommend it!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

The Lobster!!
Where do I start? On entering the property, - it was as if we drove into another world. The DR is very lush and there's greenery everywhere, but inside the palace gates was ... spectacular. I say look at the pics and they are truthful, however, it’s one of those things you really need to be there to appreciate it. Gorgeous - immaculate - and certainly palace-like.

Staff:
It began with Juan Carlos who will probably check you in. Pleasant, and extremely accommodating! Honestly, it only gets better from there. Besides, after asking about where to find a certain religious place, we learnt information about Juan Carlos that caused my husband and I to immediately form a special bond with him. Hermano .
There were 8 of us at the palace for the first 3 days and so there was one person who would wait on us for food and drinks in the morning and by about 2:00-2:30 there is another person for the might. Our first night was with Javier! Javier!! We really loved how he catered to our every need. You never had to ask for anything, he was always there, offering and even thinks ahead and might just bring you a random snack during the day. Seriously superb service Javier! You made it special for us!
The next morning we were greeted by Fellipe. Great guy and if you would like to see a bit of the island, he'll most likely be the one to offer you the opportunity before you even get a chance to ask. We took him up on two offers and DID NOT REGRET THEM. WOW!!! He took us to a "lagoon" about 25 minutes north of the palace. It consisted of 3 main features: ** a seriously deep hole where you're more than welcome to jump in from a short zipline-like ride, ** a water/hole/cave-thing? I really don’t know how to describe it, but it was beautiful. You welcome to swim in there too, but it's very rock, so be careful, ** and a literal cave. by the time we decided to go into the cave, it was dark. They had lights in there, but for some reason, the lights and the concrete/cement finish floor somewhat detracted from the nature of it. But it was my first time in a cave and I was happy I experienced it. Our next trip with Felipe was pretty much a whole day trip to 27 waterfalls. It takes a while to get there but it was very worth the ride. By the last two days of our stay we were only there with a newly arrived couple. So, it was the 4 of us and Felipe who went on our joy ride. We decided to do only 12 of the waterfalls on Felipe's recommendation, and I'm glad we did. Let's just say, both us girls were probably exasperating with our fear of going down these waterfalls, but the guides handled it well and we all made it out alive. It's an experience I recommend everyone partake of. - It's unforgettably exhilarating! Even though I still have my fear of deep water, by the end I was brave enough to where I'd definitely go again and do the 12 waterfalls, and then I'd love to do all 27 of them at some point. But I don’t want to spoil it for you, so ... moving on. Oh, btw, Fellipe LOVES to play pool, and won’t hesitate to play with you if you’d like. He’s a cool guy.
The last night we met "Charlie" - we (me and Juan Carlos) gave him that nick name since I was having a -hard time pronouncing and remembering his real name - Rosalie??? Anywho - He was a superb host. Funny, good natured and on top of his game. At the time - he had only been working there for 4 months and was recommended by Javier. "Charlie" - great guy.
I only got to know the name of one of the housekeeping staff – Ramona. She doesn’t seem to speak much English, but is always pleasant and we always say “hola” with a smile when we pass each other. She’ll try to tell me in the evenings too that our clothes has been laundered and is ready.
I got a chance to meet the chef and smother him with compliments on the food. .. His name starts with an “A” – it eludes me at this point.
Wilson is pleasant, fun and will take you to Playa Grande (beach) or into town if you need to – as part of the Palace provision.
There is a guy that comes by just about daily and offers tours, he might seems s bit pushy, but if you want to think about or you don’t want to commit just yet, it’s not hard for him to get the point. We just told him we’ll think about it.

Fitness Center:
Umm – what fitness center? A few old machines are housed in the musty smelling basement. I wouldn’t even have known about it had another guest not mentioned that he wandered down there and that’s where it was. If you’re a fitness buff I recommend you run up and down all the available stairs multiple times or find some other creative way to get your workout in. But you’re also more than welcome to make use of the under-equipped workout facility. The basement consisted of a treadmill (unplugged and I didn’t plug it in to see if it worked) a bicycle (I sat on it for literally 10 seconds just o see if it was operable – it is) a weight machine (I could be interested in using it). But I’d just rather not – it really is like the dungeon of the palace down there. I didn’t care, figured I’d get my workout in when I get back home.


Food:
They serve literally 3 meals a day. Occasionally I would've preferred a snack somewhere in there, but it didn't bother me too much. Besides, I'll never forget one afternoon me and hubby were just chilling, playing pool, when Javier brought us s plate of plantain chips, salsa and chicken fingers. It was very welcome. All meals are at least 3 course meals. All meals were delicious. Might I advise you get your eggs properly cooked? There was one morning I wasn't able to finish my breakfast since I got immediately sick after about 3 bites of the egg. The eggs were cooked scrambled, but definitely slightly runny. I had eggs about 2 other mornings before too and I was fine, but I guess my body decided to get rid of whatever that - immediately. After so carbonated water& lime juice, and just a few hours after my episode, I started feeling a bit more confident about eating again and I was fine from there on. Glad I didn't stay sick.
OH! How can I forget - Surf and turf night happened twice while we were there for 5 nights and boy was I happy. It meant LOBSTER! and it tasted so yummy. Mmmmmm. On our last night, it was surf and turf night, and it was only 4 of us there as guests. I was going on and on about how I loved the lobster and Charlie said, "Well, if you'd like more, that's ok, we have more" then because I was full I joked back saying that I'd like it for breakfast.
OMG - low and behold, the next morning we decided to have breakfast in our room, and by that time it was Fellipe who was with us. I asked about the lobster if that was actually possible for breakfast and BAM!! A whole freaking lobster came to us. WOW!

Beach – Playa Grande:
Oh – the beach – be ware that at Playa Grande, you will have many vendors (typical, right?) and if you decide to buy lunch there, the meal is isn’t that great, but keep an idea of what the total bill should be. We got two meals that were to be 200 pesos (according to the menu), and we used tow beach lounge chairs. We brought drinks from the palace, so we didn’t need to buy any. At the end of our meal, they guy (Franzy? Frantz?) was trying to tell us that our bill was $22US. UMMM NOOOO! I kindly reminded him of the price of our meals on the menu and he said the chairs cost $3 each. So he apologized and gave us the correct grand total of $14US. Pay attention people; oh and never forget to negotiate when buying from vendors.
The beach at the Palace was not in season at the time we were there. Juan Carlos said that out of the whole year, this is probably the only month where the beach isn’t really there – the water comes up high to the shore and there isn’t really any sand space to enjoy. It didn’t dampen our spirit.

Rooms:
Viewing the pics online about the rooms are pretty accurate, however, the smaller rooms were a tad smaller in person that I expected. Pretty. But small for a “Palace”- I think. The bathroom was nicely appointed with a shower that could comfortably fit two people. We were on the 3rd floor and our small balcony overviewed the top of the trees from the forest next to us. I honestly didn’t have a problem with the room, but hubby wasn’t impressed (he’s hardly ever impressed so I don’t dwell too much on it). Thankfully, since there was about a day when were the only couple there and had the place to ourselves, we had a chance to enjoy a bigger room, and WOW! That was palatial. The bathroom alone was the size of our previous room. The bed had a canopy – real princess style canopy. And when housekeeping came to do ‘turn-down’ service, they opened it around the bed – soo stinking romantic! Appropriate since we were celebrating our 2nd anniversary. I tried to enjoy the jetted tub on the balcony, but by the time it was full, the hot water became cold :( I didn’t even bother asking how to remedy that since I felt we got more than we expected. Overall, when you taste any of the 2 rooms flanking the spa, you won’t want to go back to the smaller room. Even hubby approved of this one. THANK YOU JUAN CARLOS!

I’ve rambled on enough – read the reviews – they’re all true. I’ve never been so sad coming home from a vacation and can’t wait to go back. My favorite vacation so far! (Hubby seems to have loved it very much too)

Room Tip: Ehhh - choose what your pocket allows. You'll still feel like you're king & queen of thi...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, Tennessee
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

My husband and I went to the Palace for our honeymoon at the end of October, and I really can't say enough good things about it. It is a hidden gem and you should definitely go before everyone else discovers it!

We arrived at the DR airport and we were greeted by our driver who came with a cooler of water, soft drinks and a few Presidentes. He was extremely nice. The drive was a little rough (all driving in the DR is rough as there are no enforced driving laws), and it took about an hour to get to the resort. We pulled through the gates and were in awe of the palace (and it really is a palace). We were greeted by the fabulous Javier and we looked around the grounds of the resort and shown to our room. The room was immaculate. We stayed on the ground floor in a garden suite and I really recommend it. We didn't have to climb stairs to get to our room, it was easily accessible from the common area, and it was the perfect size. It also had doors right out to the pool so we felt like that area was ours. I've seen past reviews where they recommend upgrading to the bigger rooms, but we were very well satisfied with our room. We opted for the smaller room so we could stay longer and we were more than happy with that choice. The one downside is that the bathrooms in the Garden Suites don't have doors, they have curtains, so that might be something to take into consideration if you're not compleely comfortable with your vacation partner.

When we got there, there was only one other couple staying there so we felt really special. I really can't say enough about how beautiful the resort is. The photos don't do it a bit of justice. The beach is wonderful and the ocean is clear and clean.

We went when Hurricane Sandy was going through the area and we still had a wonderful time. It forced us to relax and enjoy ourselves. There are enough covered areas outside so you aren't forced to stay inside. We got enough dry time to still do excursions though. We went with Campo Tours and Felix out into the towns. The first excursion was a bus tour/glass boat ride/beach stop/zip line water splash. I would really recommend it. It was so much fun and the water was incredible. You just don't see water that blue and clear in the states. Like most places in the carribean, the downside to going out on the town is being hassled by the locals. Their main income is from tourists so they really hound you into buying their stuff, but know that everything can be negotiated.

Each member of the staff was so generous and they waited on us hand and foot. We tipped each person who we talked to on a daily basis about 2 days into the trip and that really made a great difference too. We also gave extra at the end of the trip to those who went above and beyond. Also, because there are so few rooms in the palace, it all feels so personal. By our third day, four more couples had gotten there and we met and talked with them all. Then it got to the point where we knew who was coming and going and if new vacationers would be there with us. It was an unbelievable experience.

We had a wonderful time and couldn't have asked for a better honeymoon. We will be going back!

Room Tip: All rooms are wonderful! Cliff side suites are only accessible from the outside and walking up and d...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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.

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Additional Information about The Palace at Playa Grande

Also Known As:
The Palace At Playa Grande Hotel
The Palace At Playa Grande Hotel Rio San Juan
Address: Calle Rio San Juan | Playa Grande, Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Maria Trinidad Sanchez Province > Rio San Juan
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Rio San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Palace at Playa Grande 4*
Reservation Options:
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