We recently enjoyed a ten day stay at the Paradisus Punta Cana. Our group consisted of our family of four (including two young boys aged 9 and 5) and another family of three (including a 10 year-old boy). Overall we had a fantastic stay and the resort delivered on all fronts and exceeded expectations in many cases.
Check-in: Upon arrival at the resort - roughly a 40 minute drive from the Punta Cana International Airport - check-in went very smoothly and we experienced very little wait, if any. The welcome was made all the better through a delicious welcome cocktail and some refreshing scented chilled towels. Although we arrived well ahead of our 3pm check-in time we were told our rooms were ready and we were granted immediate access. Although we had booked our family trips separately, the front desk was able to accommodate our request to be given rooms in the same building. (We didn’t realize it at the time but this would almost prove to be essential given the size of the property.) The check-in process was then handed over to a “Vacation Concierge” who spent some time helping to orient us with some of the hotel basics including assistance navigating the layout of the enormous property and offered details on the various a la carte restaurants. I must include a shout-out to our Vacation Concierge (Carlos Lluberes – olà!) who routinely checked-in on us during the course of our stay to ensure that all was in order and also took care of arranging many of our dinner reservations – he was simply terrific. Having seen him almost every day our kids also became quite fond of Carlos and insisted on a photo with their new friend as we departed on our last day!
Property: The grounds of this resort are very extensive and are beautifully and incredibly well-manicured. It is truly an impressive setting and compares to the finest five star grounds we have seen anywhere. For those with mobility limitations the size of the property is certainly something to be aware of. There is a free golf-cart-type shuttle service that runs non-stop which can be very helpful when travelling from the beach to the main lobby buildings. Although it can be busy at peak times (after dinner in particular or when leaving the main lobby after a show) we rarely had to wait for more than a few minutes for the next cart to arrive.
Room: Although I’m not sure if this is true for the Royal Service suites, most of the regular buildings appear to have 16 units spread across on two floors. Our room was a ground level room in Building 27. The location of this building was also great as it was quite close to the beach. All ground level rooms come with a small outdoor patio and a garden area that included a large screened day-bead. Our second group had a room on the second floor which units all appear to include a balcony with an outdoor Jacuzzi. The rooms are comfortable and functional but they are not overly spacious. In our case we had two double beds separated by a single night stand and a step-down living room area that included a table and chairs as well as a fold out sofa. I note there is very little storage for clothes other than a modest closet which a single person could fill quite easily. The bathroom was well appointed with a large dual-shower glass enclosure, although there was no bath tub – likely not ideal for those with younger kids. Water pressure was very good at all times although we did (on a single occasion) experience a limit to the hot water. The vanity portion of the bathroom and the closet in our room could have used a little updating.
Food: Overall, the food at Paradisus is excellent – and due to the variety of buffet and a la cart options, it ranks among the very best we have had at an all-inclusive resort. The two main buffets always had seating available, drinks were refreshed consistently and the service was pleasant . Compared to other all-inclusives, the buffets appear small. Looks can be deceiving. Each time we dined at the buffet (every day for breakfast, most lunches and 2 dinners) we were very pleased with the selection and, more importantly, the quality of the food. All the food is kept appropriately hot or cold as necessary. The made to order items are prepared quickly and in generous portions.
We thoroughly enjoyed the a la carte restaurants at the Paradisus. At other all-inclusives, we have often found that the a la cartes are serving the same food you find at the buffet, only with slower service. Not so at Paradisus. With the exception of the Mexican restaurant, which we didn’t like as much as the others, we had very pleasant and delicious meals at each a la cart. (We didn’t visit the Italian a la carte because it’s adults only.) A particularly special treat was the availability of Aria for a la carte lunches. In the middle of a long hot day a the beach, it felt so civilized to sit down and be served a multi-course lunch on white table linens, with free flowing bottles of ice cold white zinfandel. Although it’s not included as part of the “all inclusive” package, we dined at Fuego one night. We thoroughly enjoyed the 7 course tasting menu (which was a good value) and would compare it to fine dining experiences we’ve had in North America and Europe.
The availability of room service is also a very nice touch which is included with your stay, other than a small delivery fee of $5 per order, regardless of the amount of food being ordered.
The burgers, hot dogs and wings available at the pool bar are delicious and convenient when you want to grab a quick lunch without doing the full buffet.
If you go to the main bar (closest to the beach) in the morning, (and ask nicely) they will dig out a pineapple and fill it with your choice of beverage. Same goes for coconuts which the groundskeepers harvest from the property, cut off an end and offer to guests with a straw. (with or without rum) That pineapple cocktail was one of the highlights of our trip. Be prepared to have everyone ask you where you got it and run off in that direction.
Beach/Pool/Activities: The beach in and around this property is beautiful. The sand is soft and powdery and has no rocks or shells that can prove hard on the kids’ feet. The ocean water was warm and the constant waves (particularly big and strong on a few days) made for spectacular fun for kids and grown-ups alike. We did have a mild-moderate "seaweed situation" during our stay. We weren’t sure if it was related to recent storm activity or not, but it was always cleared away. From time to time, there is a small amount of seaweed in the water as well (the long flat grass kind). There was no service of drinks or food down at our end of the beach, which would be something that would really make the beach experience at Paradisus complete.
One day, they set up a giant inflatable waterslide at the main pool . Although this was great fun for our kids, it was a little annoying that the kids needed to pay $15 for a an all-day access bracelet – in my view the resort should simply offer this up to guests for free. This is especially the case because once the kids see it, there’s no way they don’t want to have a ride.
Our kids enjoyed access to ping pong, archery and the “Euro bungie” (a harnessed trampoline) for which the resort charged a small ($5) fee. Paradisus had the most daycare-like kids club we’ve ever seen at an all inclusive. We didn’t use it, but they appeared to be equipped to take care of infants and toddlers as well as older children. They have a small “kid buffet” set up in there, tvs, games, video games, and an outdoor play structure. The down side of the kids club is that it is at the opposite end of the resort from the beach. At a resort as huge as Paradisus, that would be very inconvenient for parents who wish to spend time at the beach and drop the kids off for quick intervals.
Service: Service overall is professional, polite and effective. If I had to offer any criticism at all of the Paradisus Punta Cana it would be that the hotel, in some respects, attempts to be all things to all people: on the one hand a family-friendly resort with many kid-friendly features, on the other an exclusive adults-only resort (the “Royal Service”) and yet a third “ultra luxury” format (the “Reserve”) – which is also kid friendly. The result is a somewhat awkward mix of adult only restaurants, Royal Service only restaurants only steps away from lounges and restaurants filled with families with young kids. While in fairness, the Paradisus manages to balance them all well, it may sometimes be confusing to guests who are trying to navigate where they’re allowed to be and not.
We would happily return to Paradisus for another wonderful family vacation.
- 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