Having stayed previously at the Grand Palladium Bavaro in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic we just had to book the Royal Suites at this resort for our honeymoon, it was a wonderful stay but there were a couple of negatives.
It was about an hours drive by taxi to the resort from Cancun Airport, first off we were amazed on arrival at how lovely the room was, really big and really nice decor and modern (they have all just been redecorated), superking sized bed, a hot tub jucuzzi on the balcony, and a fully stocked minibar all included as part of your stay without charge. You also get house red, white, and house Champagne you can order as part of your room service and although they are house, they're pretty decent. You get butler service 24 hours a day which was also great, Alma at reception was fabulous and couldn't do enough for you.
At the Royal Suites it is an adults only part of the Palladium Resort so you get the premium drinks at Royal Suites bar and pool and great cocktails made by the lovely Luis and José Luis who were the best bar tenders!! Fabulous cocktails and great service with a smile. You also get a Royal Suites area of the beach, the lovely lady (Fernanda?) came round every morning before lunch with fruit cups, always smiling and laughing. The only downside at the beach was that it's set further back (so you can't see the sea from where you sit), it's also a bit of a walk from the Royal Suites bit. Being part of the Palladium Resort you have access to all the other parts of the resort like the bars and buffets, and a la carte restaurants, it's a massive place so there is plenty of choice.
In the Royal Suites you have the Jardin Restaurant avaliable for breakfast and dinner. The breakfast was great there is a buffet but be sure you ask for the menu as there is more choice on there. (They often didn't offer it on being seated). We ate at the Jardin probably about half the time during our 2 week stay for dinner, the steaks were great and they have Lobster available for you which was excellent. Every Wednesday they have Chef Martinez cook a special menu and it was amazing on both times.
Despite several excellent meals in the Jardin we did experience some really bad food. Most of the a la carte restaurant's were not very good at all. The Mexican was bland, the Italian was ok but the Chinese was awful. On the plus, Ribs and More was great and I would highly recommend Punta Amelia the seafood restaurant on the beach. A few of the meals in the Jardin were not great (i.e. French evening, Cordon Bleu was made with beef it was gross), and the desserts were only good a couple of times. In our second week the service particularly in the morning for breakfast was really lacking, taking 15 minutes to get a drink and table not being set properly etc. One of my main gripes at breakfast was that it seemed to be when the hotel reps invite guests staying at the main resort to the Jardin to sell the resort membership, at one point the were more 'Non-Royal Suite's' guests eating breakfast than Royal Suites guests and the staff couldn't cope it was just ridiculous. Also, the Jardin isn't avaliable for lunch so you have to use resorts main buffets, there is plenty of choice but it is self-service and the food isn't that great, definately not 5* quality. We both got several stomach upsets during our stay so do be careful what you eat.
The evening entertainment wasn't that great, there wasn't anything avaliable in the Royal Suites so you have to go to the main resort but the entertainment was often painful to watch, although on a couple of nights there were pretty decent musicians. There is however plenty to do near the resort, like the Tulum Ruins and snorkling in Akumal's turtle bay. A tip for excursions such as this: don't pay a fortune for these trips to tour guides in the lobby, just take a cab or Collectivo (shuttlebuses that sit outside the resort) to pay a few dollars to get there plus the small entry fee and you will have saved yourself a lot of money. Coco Bongo in Playa Del Carmen is also highly recommended for a great night out, the hotel organise for a big group of you to go altogether an it's about $65 dollars each and an open bar.
All in all it was a wonderful honeymoon and they were key members of staff I have mentioned that really were amazing. But the main downside was the hit and miss food which for a 5* resort should have been excellent on every occasion, not just some of the time.
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