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“Good for a business meeting, not sure about a vacation”

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Paradisus Punta Cana
Ranked #20 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersSilver level
St. Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
47 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Good for a business meeting, not sure about a vacation”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2008

My experience of the Paradisus was somewhat jaded by having flown in for a meeting after about 20 hours on planes (coming from New Delhi via Chicago and San Juan). The area was beautiful and the beaches appeared to come straight from a tropical daydream (white sand, clear emerald water, cobalt sky). The all-inclusive restaurants were good, although not great. The rooms were very well-appointed and clean, though musty. As striking as the surroundings were though, I must say that I didn't feel pampered as I wanted to. The front desk made me feel like one of the many tourists they had to deal with (which was true, but you don't like to be reminded of it in a luxury resort). I found it difficult to navigate the compound and the on-site shopping was disappointing. The nighttime entertainment was not well attended and felt put-on, which was the feeling I had about everything there in fact. I hope to return to the DR someday, but I may look elsewhere for a vacation spot.

  • Liked — The surroundings
  • Disliked — Not very pampering for a luxury resort.
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Banks3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
NY
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 29, 2008

Just got back from staying at the Paradisus... went from Feb 22-28...and have to say I was a bit disappointed with the hotel.
It started with us arriving at the hotel late due to delays with the airline, once we got there, the lady behind the counter rushed us with the paper work, and didn't give us our bracelet for the property, which the next day, we were stopped twice by security.
Good thing I guess about that was at least I knew security was watching out and making sure everyone walking around was indeed guests staying at the property.
The grounds are beautiful and well kept, have to give them that.. it was nice to walk around and listen to the music which plays from the gardens.
The room was nice, but plenty of mosquitos inside, turns out, when they clean your room, they do so with the door open, so definetely bring your bug spray!! you'll need it to for when you eat outdoors.
Did have problems with house keeping, they're very lazy in that aspect, only once did they come in the morning and that was after we called to complain, all the other times was when "they got around to it"..
Restaurants were good, Vento and the french were the best, have to go to those...buffets had everything, from american food to food that the natives eat, so you really won't go hungry, but of course, remember you're not in the USA!! so don't expect top notch food! Service in the restaurants which you had to make reservations for was better than at the buffets.. they tend to see you sit there with no drinks, and have no problem just walk right by you.
Beach was ok... found the water to be a bit rough so if you go with kids, be careful, was surprised, it had a decent under tow, so you had to be on guard with the water and its waves. The undertow pulled the sand from underneath and tended to make the water murky. The chair situation was a joke. If you were from Royal Service you had no problems, they had plenty of space for them, moreso than for the regular guests, I found that strange being that only about 1/4 of the rooms there are for Royal Service. At 10AM I went and walked around for a bit to find an empty chair to put under the palapa, they use "palapa's" instead of umbrellas, everyone tends to wake up super early and reserve chairs with towels.
I went to see the new area that they have, its called the Reserve, its about 5 months old, very very nice area, with there own pool, and own restaurants. Is it worth the extra money? depends on you... the people that work there, definetely cater to you more and are A LOT more friendlier...walked around and everyone was saying hello, and smiling . Went to eat at Vento which is there and the service, food, atmosphere was top notch, couldn't say anything bad about it. AT the reserve, you have a different check in area, there own little golf carts which take you from place to place... for the beach, you have your own reserved area, which is only for them, with better ammenities, like better chairs, they have beds with pillows, waiter service, guys who come around taking your drink order... rooms are better as well, didn't get to see one, but heard they are more modern, with plasma TV's and other ammenities as well. again, is the x-tra money worth it? depends on you and your budget... if money wasn't too much of an issue I would definetely upgrade, its better service all around.
Oh.. and check out, be ware... when you leave your room, make sure you take the security key from the safe with its big yellow looking thing, I guess you would call it the lock and key? anyways... had left the room with just the key.. thinking Im returning the key, good enough, but they made a huge stink about me not returing the yellow lock thing, they didn't let us check out, even as our transfer to the airport had arrived and was waiting for us, they had called security to go to our room to double check and needless to say after 20 minutes of everyone arguing with each other, the transfer guy is yelling at us saying he was going to leave us, I had to run back and retrieve it myself, where was the security guard who had gone to my room? who knows, perhaps "still on its way"...
All in all, the overall experience was ok... the grounds was beautiful but the people that work there need to greatly improve there customer service skills, in order to give the client a better experience, I speak spanish and that still didn't give me any better advantage. If I had to chose a Paradisus property, hands down I would pick the one in Riviera Maya.

  • Liked — The new area that was built, The Reserve.
  • Disliked — The people that work there...
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank chicago19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2008

We traveled to Paradisus Punta Cana for our Honeymoon in January. We booked an Oceanfront room with "Royal Service". We were told that we would be waited on hand and foot only to be very disappointed time and again, even though generous tips were given to the employees. We were supposed to have a personal butler to take care of all our needs including filling our mini bar with personalized contents. My husband and I went to the office several times to request items that were never brought to our room. Our last night there, we had them prepare a jacuzzi (which was part of our Royal Serivce) and had asked for champagne to be delivered. We arrived back to the room only to find our key no longer worked and then after walking back to the office to change the key, found that they had prepared the jacuzzi but there was no champagne. This was typical of the service we received all week. The bartenders were very nice but the drinks were all watered down and weak. Also, there was not much to speak of for night life around the resort either. The staff was friendly and respectful, just not very helpful. Beautiful resort, but very overcrowded. No secluded places for couples even though we were in a special area for Royal Service guests where it was supposed to be adults only. This last point may not matter to some, but we would not have chosen this resort or beach had we been told by our travel agent that it was a "top optional" beach. Extremely expensive and not worth it. Would not go back again.

  • Liked — Room was adequate
  • Disliked — Disappointing Service
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank allansgirl3232
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2008

Food poisoning, bed bugs and pushy, disrespectful management is what we got at Paradisus Punta Cana. So, here is my review, forwarned is forarmed.
My family and I traveled to the Dominican Republic last week (February 16-23) for the second time in 4 years. This year we stayed at the Paradisus Punta Cana which is owned by Sol Melia. I made our reservations in November 2007 and carried with me the e-mail confirmation dated November 29, 2007.
Upon arrival (3 PM Saturday), we were told by management there were no more rooms. We had friends traveling with a tour group,arriving later who received rooms. (The tour groups are too valuable to anger I guess) The hotel had overbooked, insisted there were no rooms and sent us off along with some other families to a less expensive, inferior hotel 20 minutes away, then brought us back the next day. On the second day our friend got sick from the food but recovered the next day. On the fourth day my wife got food poisoning and was violently ill and feverish for 24 hours and felt poorly the remainder of the week. The room was often cleaned late (and not very well), and one day was not cleaned at all, until we requested they come and tidy up while we were at dinner. By the end of the week I was getting bug bites on my legs and arms and upon returning home it was determined to be bed bug bites.
I have to warn all who read this to consider our "worst ever" experience and ask you to tell others who may be considering this hotel/resort.

Stayed February 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank 21ice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
upstate NY
Level Contributor
89 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2008

We booked the Paradisus thru the Melia Vacation Club which made it very reasonable. My cousin owns a time share through them so we reimbursed her for the $500 maintenance fee for her week and only had to pay the all inclusive fee when we got there which was about $1200. We have stayed in many all inclusives around the Carribean and this was the best ever. We were so pleased that we booked another week for next year. The grounds were beautiful and our room was near the beach. The room furniture was a little shabby and the bed and pillow not as comfortable as I would have liked, but that about sums up the negatives.

We had breakfast every morning in the buffet restaurant Hybiscus and the food was great with an omelet station, fresh fruit shake station, hot food buffet and continental buffet. We had everything from smoked salmon with cheese to bacon with waffles.

Lunch at the Hybiscus was also good, with the grill preparing fresh fish, chicken or lamb chops. There was also a carving station and I tried the braised Ox which turned out to be the best "roast beef" I ever had. We also had lunch at the grill where you can pick out your fish and they will grill it for you with garlic and oil-delicious. We also had lunch at the Italian restaurant which was the only ala carte lunch place. They served an unbelievable tuna carpacio over arugala. The pasta with pesto was good too, but I think they just went to the buffet and got it from the pasta station.

For dinner the best restaurant was the new one called Vento which is near the lobby. The service and food were excellent. I recommend the squid in black ink sauce and the veal osso bucco.

We stopped for a drink at the Gabi lounge each night before dinner and that worked out well as it had a sophisticated ambiance and it was right next to the beach. We met people from Montreal and Germany.

El Romantico was excellent on the main course-the fillet minion I ordered was tender and well prepared. However the side dishes were not as described on the menu and a little disappointing. However there was a violinist playing as we dined and that was lovely.

We skipped the Chinese as people we met on the shuttle told us they were sick after eating there.

We tried the Japanese restaurant and the sushi was excellent. The main dish was cooked hibachi style with a "chef" cooking at our table of 12 people. It was OK.

The Brazilian restaurant was notable for the Chorizo sausage which was outstanding. Do try the three sauces with the various meats it was fun.

Reservations were needed for Vento, El Romantico, Sakura (the Japanese) and Albufera. Albufera is the steakhouse next to Hybiscus. The staff didn't speak English at all and didn't understand our Spanish. The t-bone steak was tough, but the filet mignion was tender.

The last restaurant I'll tell you about was the seafood. At night the grill next to the beach turns into an ala carte seafood restaurnant (no reservations needed). The beach in moonlight with a gentle breeze was gorgeous. We ate there twice it was so good. Our favorites were a shrimp casserole which was basically shrimp grilled in oil, garlic with a little hot pepper. We also like the ceviche and found that it was fun to alternate a bite of hot shrimp with a bite of cold ceviche - Heaven. Our entree here was the grilled lobster and we asked for a bowl of hot butter to dip into.

At all the restaurant we ordered bottlesof wine and champagne. We particularly like the white wine from France and the red wine from Spain. The bars had a variety of top shelf liquor but not any kind of rye whisky that my husband likes -Crown Royal or Jamesons. No Seagram Seven either.

The beach had as many lounge chairs as you could want and they hotel was full as this was presidents week. However, the beds were in high demand and you had to go out early to reserve one with your towel, magazine and hat. The beds were the size of a double bed with a 6 inch thick mattress which propped up.

My husband went golfing and the course was very nice but moved slowly because it was crowded. So a round took 5 hours. The last shuttle leaves the golf course at 6:15 and he almost missed it as no one had explained this. Also you cannot charge the cost of the cart to the room, so bring money or a charge card or you will be turned away.

I'dbe glad to provide any other info as I like remembering this excellent vacation.

  • Liked — White sand beach with turquoise water, Different restaurant every night
  • Disliked — The mattress and pillow on the bed were not top quality.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank robandlil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hartford
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2008

Vacationed feb 8th--15th 2008..... Upon arrival, we quickly got out of the airport with a mandatory $10 enter the country fee, and our passports stamped.....luggage put in our Apple Tours van with another couple, and within minutes we were off on our way to our hotel....it`s 30-35 minutes to our hotel, with a brief stop for the other couple.........upon arriving a staff member took us over to check-in and took care of our check in for us.....then took us to the lobby bar for a quick drink while he was explaining the hotel info...we then took our luggage in a golf cart type vehicle, quickly by the beach and then to our room........which was located in beautiful building #7......Our room was a beautiful and clean room, with great air conditioning and a king sized bed, a small t.v. with 2 or 3 american channels, the rest in spanish.......refridgerator was so so.....cooler by putting drinks up top......write the maid's a couple little words like cerveza y agua por favor....which means beer and water please.....and we got a 4- pack of their beer and 6 to 8 water bottles....we left a tip each day........You will need to brush your teeth with bottled water, do not drink their tap water!.......Our favorite bars were the lobby bar, and swim up bar. The lobby bar had nightly live music.....and if you didn`t want to sit at the bar......there were sofa`s and swinging seats close by..........There was live entertainment shows nightly, starting around 10pm.......in a nicely air conditioned room near the lobby bar, where you could bring your drink too.........we thought the entertainment was just average.....and often stayed about 15 minutes.......of the hour shows.........the ocean and the beach were excellent......plenty of lounge chairs and beds, the beds were SOOO comfy. People do tend to reserve chairs on beach around 8am by leaving their towels on chairs..........but we never had much trouble locating 2 chairs even at 10am......ocean was a bit rough, but not a problem...........lots of fun playing in the waves. Main pool is super too......with a nice swim up bar......aerobics by pool bar around noon each day........live music poolside once or twice.....Only bummer is the pool closes at 6 pm. You can get free cigarettes at any bar........sometimes a free cigar. The beach massage was awesome...lovely ocean breeze and the sounds of the crashing waves added to the relaxation. If you sign up for horseback riding, be aware the ride is about an hour in an open air (no top) truck, rough roads and blazing sun...but the horseback ride was worth it. We went running through the edge of the waves...really cool. Just be prepared for a 3 to 4 hour outing for a one hour ride. The food was good everywhere, except the steak house, La Albufera. The setting was beautiful and the service good, but our steaks were way over cooked, small portions. The Brazilian restaurant, La Palapa, was excellent. Carved the food right onto your plate...very good. The Japanese was really good...you share a table with others as they cook for 12 at a time, but it was fun and delicious....moved to another table for dessert, we had fried ice cream...really good. The newest restaurant, Vento, was wonderful. We had dinner there on Valentine's Day, and they handed out red roses to the women. The food was excellent, the service was superb and dessert was exquisite! We had a bottle of champagne. We loved it. The Chinese was suprisingly good. We enjoyed the buffet at Hybiscus, especially for breakfast. The local beer, Presidente, was good. They also had Heineken. The liquor was not cheap, quite good as a matter of fact. A little tipping goes a long way at the bars...your glass will never be empty if you tip. They will try to get you to listen to a vacation club/timeshare pitch, but we were able to get out of it. Just say no...that's what we did. Our conceriege, Tony, took a group of us on a party boat which was a blast. It was about a 20 min ride from the hotel in an air conditioned bus...took a little boat out to the bigger boat....beer and rum and coke...music...then we anchored for swimming, played a drinking game in the water with our conceriege...what a blast! When we got back on the boat the men were teaching the women how to dance, Dominican style! It was really fun.

There is transportation around the resort, but you can get just about anywhere in a 10-15 minute walk...the stone walkways are very nice and have good lighting at night. We only used the transportation 2 or 3 times all week. The grounds are beautiful, and the staff were working all the time to keep it that way.

If you need to extend your check out time, let the front desk know 24 hrs ahead...suggest you do it...we spent a few hours in the lobby with our luggage waiting for our ride to the airport...we sure would have loved another hour or two on the beach or in the pool!

The weather was perfect....about 85 during the day, 75 at night. Humidity was not bad....clear blue skies, sun....wonderful breeze most of the time.

We got up for sunrise 2 or 3 times, and it is worth it...absolutely beautiful. They rake the beach every morning, and it is spotless...no shells, but soft white sand.

  • Liked — ocean/beach/pool/food/room
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank buels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2008

Myy wife and I just got back and it was great. Here is a quick review of our experience.

1. Reserve Section
Try to get in "reserve" section of hotel Rooms, pool, bar and restaurant less crowded and better service. Those in "reserve" section are aloud to use all facilities but only "reserve" members can use reserve area. Food, pool, restaurant, bar all better due to less people. Really try to get this section. All newer.

2. Rooms
We got a bigger room with seperate bedroom and living area. Big bathroom and living area. Bring clock because none in bedroom. Don't use room service because of english barrier.

3. Restaurants
All great. Food really good. At Gabbi restaurant in 'reserve" section had lobster and caviar along with other great food selections. Favorite restaurants were El Romantico, Ventom and steak house. Need reservations. Get 9:00 seating and show up at 8:30 for seating. It will be available and you get to enjoy more of day. Otherwise they will offer 6;30 seating. You'll still be full from lunch.

4. Pool
Great at reserve and less crowded. Atmosphere awesome. Lots of places to sit and relax. Has swim up bar.

5. Golf
We picked this place because of "free" golf. Plan on losing 6 hours of vacation time. Have to shuttle to course which is aprox 20 min ride. Course really nice and you should play at least once. Cost $35 per person for cart. Crowded and don't forget voucher hotel gives you or they will send you back to hotel to get. We took attitude that can play at home and spend less time doing while can't go to beach this time of year at home!

6. Beach
Lots chairs available. Nice water and waves. Get to beach at 9:00 and grab your chair than go to breakfast. If wait until 11:00 have hard time finding chair.

7. Tipping
Bring some $1's and $5's for tipping. Believe me no one refuses a tip. Invest in regular bar tendors and servers. They will remember and take care of you.

8. Entertainment
Weak and not worth watching. Only good thing was shows are short. Lots of people walked out. Dancing in Lobby area after show very enjoyable and well attended.

9. Hotel
Awesome. Great decorations and easy to check in and out. Everyone very helpful.

10. Bugs
Some mosquitos around that will bite. Not as bad at beach due to breeze. Bring bug spray. We didn't but will next time.

11. Bar
Top shelf liquor to include single malt scotch and any and all top shelf after dinner drinks. Johnny Black, Stoli, Bombay etc. You won't be dissappointed with choices.

All in all a great experienc and we will return. Best most relaxing vacation I've had in long time

  • Liked — Food, Service, Drink, Room, Decorations
  • Disliked — Room Service. Didn't understand English
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank WildTurkey27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paradisus Punta Cana

Property: Paradisus Punta Cana
Address: Playas de Bavaro, 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#18 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#20 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#33 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Paradisus Punta Cana 4.5*
Number of rooms: 688
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the unpretentious luxury of Paradisus Punta Cana Resort. An extraordinary island retreat offering a super balance of natural and man-made wonders. Open-air architecture, featuring indigenous organic materials like raw coral and exotic hardwoods, houses an impossibly sumtuous gallery of luxury suites and an exclusive garden villa. All-inclusive and all encompassing, Paradisus Punta Cana Resort is an ocean front playground for all ages. Tennis, championship golf, every non-motorized water sport imaginable, a magnificent array of restaurants, our own casino, an incredible spa for kids, an exquisite full-service spa and health club and personal world-class service all seamlessly unite to deliver you the relaxing, romantic, carefree, fun-filled experience of a lifetime. The resort features 688 oversized suites including 143 royal service suites and 4 ambassador oceanview suites, plus a one-of-a-kind oceanfront garden villa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paradisus Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Paradisus Punta Cana Resort

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