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Paradisus Punta Cana Resort
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A TripAdvisor Member
Timmins, Ontario
18
Reviewed May 20, 2004

Stayed at Paradisus May 8-16 using the Royal Service. Although it is a beautiful resort, (and I will discuss why) I don't think I would ever return there or anywhere in the D.R. until the fix this obvious problem that's causing people to get sick. But first I would like to provide my thoughts on many of the services and amenities. I would also like to say to the whiners out there, I concur with others who say that nothing would make them happy. Although I could sit here and complain about little things that didn't go my way, I've figured out long ago that life is way too short to worry about petty things. This is a big place with lots of staff, nobody's perfect. I would suggest that they look at their own workplaces to discover that they too can mess up sometimes. So relax!!ROOMS Very nice and AC worked well. Yeah the shower is a bit goofy, but who cares. Was always cleaned later in the day, but who cares. RESTAURANTSFood was okay but not great by my standards. Remember, everyone has different standards and that's all that matters. This is 5 Star in the D.R. but as far as food goes would not hold a candle to St. Martin or Aruba STAFF AND SERVICE Excellent!! These folks work their butts off. Sure we ran into a few with little or no personality but maybe the boyfriend left them that day. Who knows and who cares. They really try and it shows. By the way, we never got bothered by any sales people. The language, if you ask me, is what made the experience fun. We always managed and it made it fun. Bring a little dictionary. However, I would still add that these people should be taught more english. It's fine to say that this is their country but they are in the service industry and the majority of guests speak english. Don't compare places in the U.S. with a few spanish guests and no spanish staff. We're talking about alot of english to spanish ratio here. BEACHNo question it's very nice and the water is very warm. The wind is always blowing in so there's a 4" surf but it's fun. There only seems to be one bar so if you're not close, you've got quite a walk. Very little topless that week. Maybe 10%. Tons of chairs but it was a quiet week.SHOPPINGStay home! This is the worst I've seen at being harrassed. It was ridiculous. Fun at first but it won't take you long before you want out of there. They even cross the street to try and get you in their little shops and all have the same thing. There very nice but very pesty.CASINOStay home. This is not a casino by my standards. Sure it's small, I've seen lots of small casino's. It was like a big room with very little pizazz. A few slots and a few tables. Roulette, B.J. and a goofy Car. Stud. It was so pitiful that the cards were worn out. Was not very busy. I can see why.GOLFExcellent. Nothing more to say. POOL Beautiful. Warm. Bar is quite busy with only one bartender. Get two drinks at once and save yourself some time. ROYAL SERVICEThe jury is still out on that one. They take excellent care of you. Once you get the hang of it, you can use their service for everything from getting them to pick you up (instead of waiting) for a shuttle to bringing you candles and wine at 10:30 at night. They will do almost anything for you so get the hang of it and order room service from them specifically and tell them what you want. Tip them and it just keeps getting better. Ask for Wilson, he's the best. The private beach is nothing different but it's close to the bar and has the massage hut in it. The waiter service is really lacking but as I say, the bar is right there. The VIP lounge is very nice, washroom close to beach, 2 high speed internet and breakfast served. Use it! Staff is really attentive and personal. Call a week ahead and have them book all your dinners and golf etc... Ask for a room near VIP building in a front facing building. Anything less and you might as well be in any building because the rooms are really all the same. When you pull up to the main entrance, ask them to take you to VIP check in right away. It's a long ride. I say the jury is out because it's pricy. Some got a much better deal than us so shop it.GROUNDSAbsolutely beautiful. They never stop trimming etc... They should go to electric vehicles though as it would cut down the early morning noise. A four wheeler revving at 6 a.m. is a little annoying. I did find the property very spread out which makes for alot of walking. Shuttles are not always dependable.AIRPORTI read one review that said it was a grass hut with no food or drink. Uh, Hello! There's all kinds of eatery's, duty free etc. And it might be a grass hut alright, but it's the size of two football fields. It's open to the outside and really unique. It now has and A/C section. Security is another thing though. They couldn't get us through fast enough and when the buzzer went off for me, the dude frisked me briefly (grabbed outside my pockets) and sent me on my way. All I can say is, this whole system (airline security) is only as strong as it's weakest link! Needs some improvement there.There's not alot to do there besides relax which is okay but when the chips are down (rain 2 days) the D.R. has very little to offer. If you got hit with 3 or more days it would drive you nuts. For all it has to offer, I really cannot complain about the place. But here is why I don't think I'll return. I would say that 80% of the people I met had some form of an intestinal problem of one sort or another. For most of them, including myself, it was moderate to severe abdominal pain that occured from the ribcage to the belly button. This was not your usual cramps down low, this was different. For most I had met, it had been ongoing for at least 3-4 days. For myself, it was almost a week including 3 full days after returning home. My wife only got it for one day. I spoke to people who only drank beer and wine, others who didn't drink at all, and others who drank anything. It happened to all of them. I'm not a rocket scientist but I don't think it takes one to figure out that it's something in the food and/or water. We drank bottled water for everything, including teeth brushing to minimize exposure. I have wanted to go the D.R. for many years but the first hand reports from friends and from reading reviews has kept me away until I thought I'd give a whirl. We brought all the med's but to no avail. I think you can avoid all the food items you want that may have been washed with water but you have no control over all of it. You'll avoid salad but those veggies in you omelete may still get you. These resorts are huge and are making money, why can't they install water filtration systems to solve this problem? I don't understand this but I do underestand now why it's so inexpensive to go to the D.R. They have to do something. I don't want to bash the D.R. because I know other islands have this problem but I don't need it on my holiday. I can put up with alot of negative things, but not this. I could barely eat or drink the rest of the week. Why would I return? Use your own judgement and ask friends and form your own opinion. Maybe it was just a bad week but I'm not going to pay good money and throw the dice again.

  • Stayed: May 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Spanish speaker
16
Reviewed May 16, 2004

I can´t undertand how so many people wants to complain all the time about the lack of english speakers in the staff of the hotel. don´t you know that in this country the Spanish is the official Language. Do you have spanish speakers in the staff of all the USA hotels? Of course not everybody complains about this item, but there are plenty of bad reviews for this item.
Is you don't want to experience a different language please stay in your contry and don´t miss your time complaining of people who do their best effort to understand your language.
Note: I've been in USA as tourist, that's why I know english no body talk to me in spanish there!

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A TripAdvisor Member
Hatfield, PA (Philly Burbs)
15
Reviewed May 13, 2004

Guests of the resort from May 1st to May 8th. As background, we have been to the Wyndham in Grand Cayman, Breezes in the Bahamas and Sandals Halcyon in St. Lucia. This is a little long, but I promise it is a ‘fair and balanced’ review!

Overall; Great Facility, Great Food, Good Service.

The facility was beautiful. Clean and well maintained. Pool was clean. People were always walking by and picking up cups as they went about their business. The room was very nice- clean and serviced by 3 everyday. We did have to ask for wash-cloths twice. Little gifts were left for us everyday (rum, candles, nick-knacks). Great AC. Spotty TV reception. No problem getting chairs by the pool. The beach does fill up early (around 9-10). Please note, there is a good deal of topless-ness at the beach and some at the pool. If you are American, and/or have an issue with this, you may want to reconsider. There were also about ½ a dozen kids under 6 there. If you are not a ‘kid person,’ you might be annoyed- but we found them largely out of the way. It’s a pretty big place. There is a small casino by the lobby with some slots and table games.

Small, expensive gift shop. Try to avoid getting change in Pesos- I had a wad of money for three dollars change (about 120 pesos!). The gift shop does have an uncanny way of ‘rounding’ the bill up to avoid small change… We did not leave the hotel for any excursions although there are many providers on site. Nice spa with a separate pool and workout room. All spa services (massages, facials, etc.) are extra.

Service was good overall; staff was very friendly and accommodating. Language is an issue for things more detailed than simple directions or menu questions. Not much English is spoken at all. But note that Americans are a small number of the visitors- We encountered more Russian, French, and German visitors than fellow Americans. The staff was not fluent in any of those languages either. English is not a common language as it is in other Caribbean locations like Jamaica, Bahamas, Etc. - it IS another country, after all! They do give you a little Spanish language dictionary to help you out.

Restaurants were very, very good- it is all a matter of YOUR PERSONAL tastes. My least favorite was the French and the Steakhouse. The Japanese (note, this is in a group setting of 12, around the Chef as he prepares your meals), Brazilian rotisserie, both buffets, Seafood and Italian were all good. My wife and I found the deserts in general were lacking. I did not like any of the breads, she did (I’m more ‘honey oat’ she is more white bread!). Take note of the meal times- dinners start at 7, lunch from 12-4, breakfast from about 7-11 am. This is not really posted anywhere we could find and the room service hours are about the same, even though they show the times a bit differently. Make your reservations the next morning- they are needed but it is not a mad rush to get them in.

I recommend trying different things to avoid monotony, although food items are largely unmarked- it’s mostly guessing! Lot’s of fish, meat, pastas, vegetables and fruits to choice from. Not all restaurants were open every night- signs were posted in the restaurant’s lobby bar (they are all located in the same place with a central bar/lounge area). Service was average to good- it just depends on your waiter(s), like any other place. A little more effort needed to get someone’s attention in the buffets after you are seated. Long pants are needed for the men in the evening and no bikini tops during the day.

We found the drinks to be a little lacking - it is mostly due to the quality of mixers WE were used to. Top shelf liquors are available. The whites and rose wines are fine when they are chilled and you are eating up Paella in the late afternoon! Better wines cost extra. The giant coconut drinks are very good! Bartenders are all very friendly and working hard all day-

The biggest negative was the sales pitch we got roped into by the Melia rep trying to get us to go to a breakfeast so they can talk about their own travel services and other resorts. This was before we got to the room! I also got a follow up call to our room where I kind of hung up on the guy. I sent them an email to complain.

Last note- you can walk from the lobby to the pool in about three minutes- you don’t need to wait for the tram after you get settled in… Enjoy your trip…

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
219
Reviewed May 12, 2004

I have been all over the Dominican Republic as well as other areas on vacations. I have never been so disappointed. The resort itself is beautiful. The location is great. Everything else was horrible. The staff barely spoke a word of English. The food was horrible. I think I had one good meal the whole six days I was there. They had the worst bartenders in the world. I asked for a screwdriver and the bartender came back with a margarita. I stuck with the bottled beer, which wasn't even that great. Everytime I ate, I got pains in my stomach. I have been to three different resorts in the Dominican Republic and the food is amazing. We had a party of over 70 people there for a wedding. The wedding planner, which was hired through the resort was horrible. Nothing went right for the wedding except the weather. Very unprofessional. Not one of our party had a room ready when we were told we would have them...normal checkin time. I had strangers come into my room when I finally arrived which means they double booked our room and gave someone the key to our room. Major security problem. Save your time and money...and go to another resort...unless of course, you are okay with a two star hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
Madison, WI
11
Reviewed May 9, 2004

beautiful place. offered a variety of things to do. very european-which means services were catered to the european vacationers. restaurants are only open certain times & order from menu. dinner was not served until 7pm-all restaturants were closed from 3-7 and thats the time I usually eat dinner. you have to dress for dinner in all the restaurants. service in restaurants & bars was slow. housekeeping & guest services were fantastic. tips did go a long way.

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