Paradisus was a wonderful getaway for me and my wife. We had time for a short getaway (5 days) from the kids and we wanted something with a great beach, great pool and good food. We found it here. Originally, we read the reviews and saw quite a mix. The selling point was when I found two people who had been there and they only had good things to say. We couldn't agree more. Only one area of concern and I'll discuss that later.
Airport: We flew Continental nonstop from NJ. Flight was fine. Airport exit was fast and uneventful. Paid the $10 per person entry fee (had exact change as stated in the reviews.) Many countries in Caribbean charge a fee. And if this is a sore point after spending thousands of dollars on a trip, then one shouldn't venture out of the United States. By the way, this is less than the tolls I pay to travel into Manhattan every day. Our package included transfers. Baggage handlers only take your bags 100 feet to the curb where the transfer agents take over.
Drive to Resort: We were one of four couples on our van. Everyone was taking a break from the kids. All were from NJ and had been on our plane, so we had a nice chat and hardly noticed the 30 to 40 minute drive. The ride should have taken 20 minutes, but we stopped to drop the other couples off along the way and we were the last couple dropped off.
Check In: We arrived at our hotel a few minutes after the 3pm check in time, so our check in was fast and our room was ready. I did observe another couple come back to the desk to ask if their room was ready yet. But obviously, they were there prior to the stated check in time. You were given a bracelet to wear showing you were a guest of the hotel, able to eat, drink and use the facilities.
Transportation around resort: This is a big resort. Transportation is provided by tram or golf cart that routinely drive around the grounds. However, you can hitch a ride with almost any staff riding by in their golf carts. Best accomodations are by the beach because you'll be central to everything except the lobby and one restaurant.
Accommodations: Fortunately, we had a room by the beach. The room was spacious and clean. It had a tile floor that is similar to those of other island resorts. As requested we had a king bed and there was a step down living room area with a refrigerator stocked with soda and bottled water. It is highly recommended that you only drink bottle water and we even use it to brush our teeth. They will stock the frig with whatever you want. The frig didn't seem to be that cold, but it did keep the soda and water cool. But ice was always available. We were on the ground floor and the balcony was still private (surrounded by grass and bushes and trees.) Television was adequate with local US stations. A radio alarm clock was available, but we called for wake up service. Bathroom had a jacuzzi, but I don't take baths in rooms like that. Surprisingly, NO BUGS were seen in our room. Most outdoor villas like that in the tropics do have an occassional bug. A few misqitos here and there, but no noticible bites on either of us.
Pool: Huge, tropical and pretty. Swim up bar always busy, but no waits for drinks. Ask a gardener to cut you a coconut and he'll pull it right off a tree and cut the top off. Get a straw and you're in business. It is nice to throw him a couple of bucks to do that.
Beach: Very nice.... central to other hotels and you can walk up and down beach. Water was great, beach pretty. Never a problem getting a chaise lounge. There is a roped off adults only bar, beach section, and pool, but you are supposed to pay extra for it. We had no problem sitting in that pool or beach even though we didn't have the proper bracelet for that area. Honestly, it wouldn't of mattered what area we sat in. It was all very nice and you could find your own little spot. We did move around to the large pool and to the adult pool.
Food: Very good. No complaints. Breakfast was the typical buffet with local dishes and US dishes. Eggs and omletts to order. Lunch was buffet style with a good selection at both locations, as well as a hamburger and hot dog stand. Dinner buffets were good with menus changing daily. Specialty restaurants were very good. Needed reservations for three of them. You make reservations during the day. I suggest you make all your reservations on day one or two. French Restaurant was very good. Steak restaurant was okay.... (I eat at the best steak houses in NY regularly.) Other restaurant requiring reservations was Japanese. We didn't eat there, but heard it was very good. Sure smelled great. Chinese restaurant required no reservation and was very good. Drinks were great. It felt great not having to carry a wallet or money. Just wearing the bracelet was enough. And don't forget the 24 hour room service. Always faster than they said. A nice shrimp cocktail and fruit platter was ordered every night. Along with champagne on ice.
Night life: Small casino in lobby. It ain't vegas. Dancing and shows nightly in an open area off the lobby. Almost all Latin music. I would have liked some US dance music. Walking on beach was nice, but I stayed right in front of the resort. I wouln't stray too far....from property. Just being cautious. It was just as romantic sitting by pool at night.
One sore point: This is all my fault... dum me had to take my lap top. This required going to the lobby wireless area, taking time from the beach. But first you had to go to the business office. This was slow and employees didn't work fast. Wasted too much time there. Rented a phone that took unlimited calls from US for $10 a day, but had to go back to room to get credit card for security... this office is not part of the hotel. Employees here spoke little english and worked slowly. Wasted my time away from the beach. Next time, no computer. If I must, just pay and use there's at night.
Overall: Great time. Employees friendly and helpful. Not a lot speak English well, but waiters do. I found two guys who spoke English well and if I needed something, I saw them. At end of trip, I gave some employees I liked a few bucks. Don't forget you are in an impoverished country and a few dollars to the locals make a difference in their lives. Any questions, feel free to contact me.
- 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