We just got back from 7 nights at Paradisus Punta Cana. First couple of days were rocky but once we recalibrated expectations we enjoyed ourselves. In short, beautiful beaches, lovely grounds, good sized rooms, but service not what you would expect from an upscale resort. Once we accepted this fact, we were able to relax and enjoy our time but we’re not likely to go back.
Upon check-in we were told that $500/rm would be charged to our credit card and unspent portions credited back at the end of our stay. We weren’t aware of this and it seemed excessive. I believe it’s a tactic to encourage add’l spending at the casino, the spa, water activities, or bottles of wine/champagne which are an upcharge. We were also assigned to a staff member who was to take us to breakfast and show us the resort the next day. Fortunately, we got a heads up from someone and canceled. This was going to be a 2-3 hour sales spiel on the benefits of Club Melia. Once we told him we weren’t interested, we parted ways without a tour or breakfast but happy to make that trade. Occasionally, we’d see him around the resort and be reminded that we ‘still need to talk’. It’s just an unnecessary hassle while on vacation. Other guests we met were very upset at getting suckered into this.
The grounds and buildings are very beautiful and well kept. The beach is wonderful with plenty of chairs and huts to provide shade. The water is lovely but the surf is strong and there’s a constant breeze making snorkeling and swimming difficult. Drinks & breakfasts were good. Bartenders for the most part were great. Staff is friendly though not attentive. The shows at night were entertaining.
One of the biggest issues we had is that Paradisus operates on a caste system. There are the Royal Service & The Reserve guests and then there’s everyone else. Portions of the beach, certain restaurants and pools are off-limits to general guests with signs positioned and guards stationed to constantly remind you of this.
We enjoyed the breakfasts. Good selection of fruit, juices, pastries, and made to order eggs. The staff is very efficient at clearing finished plates but not so good at refilling coffee. The daily lunch buffets were very mediocre. It was often difficult to get a drink order successfully completed. Several times someone took our order but never returned with drinks. Dinner was a daily hassle. We were told reservations were only needed at Bana and couldn’t be made at The Grill, Mole, or Aqua. One night we showed up at The Grille as soon as it opened(6:30) only to be told, along with many other guests, that the wait was an 1-1/2 hours because we didn’t have reservations. When pressed on this, the hostess finally admitted that only Royal Service & Reserve guests could make reservations. Even though half the tables were empty because the reservations were not for another hour they could not accommodate us. Bana(Japanese) & Palazzo(Romantico) restaurants were very nice. Aqua was forgettable and eating at Naos(buffet) was a last resort. The dinner dress code was emphasized at check-in but almost never enforced. If you’re a vegan/vegetarian, then the dinner menu can be a challenge.
Overall, service was not up to par. 5 of the 7 nights our mini-bar was not restocked with beer. On two occasions we called to remedy this and we’re told they would send someone right away. 3 phone calls later we were still waiting. Fyi, the stocked mini-bar consists of coke, diet-coke, sprite, water & (2) cans of beer so it wasn’t worth the aggravation of multiple calls. FYI, Presidente is the only beer served in the resort. Thankfully, it’s a drinkable pilsner. Maid service can occur anywhere from 9 am to 6 pm. We never did figure out the schedule. The beds were made daily but the sheets were never changed for the duration of our stay. Overall, the experience was just okay.
- 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 sumptuous 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 ocean view 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