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Paradisus Punta Cana Resort
Ranked #25 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersGold level
A TripAdvisor Member
26
Reviewed August 26, 2004

When we arrived, with no luggage, because American Airlines lost it, we were welcomed by a broken air conditioner, no towels, no maid service, bad food, BUGS, when our luggage arrived, no one to bring it to us, no one to accomadate us at all. I have never been so happy to come home.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9,127 - 9,133 of 13,281 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Stuart, Florida
16
Reviewed August 25, 2004

We read all the reviews and saw the pamplet and I must say that it did not do the resort justice. First impressions were worth a thousand plus words. IMPRESSIVE by all means. We where planning on going to Secrets but missed out on the reservation, so we went to Paradisus. It was great. From the room with the jacuzzi tub and the sunken living room to the King Size bed. The open air dinning was a little humid but this is the tropic. Service was great, remember to tip. We brought $100.00 in sigles and brought home about $50.00. It really goes a long way. For anyone who wants to know TIPS Stand for TO INSURE PROPER SERVICE. One thing to say about the day trips in the safari jeeps is that it says $84.00 a person to drive your own jeep, but when we arrived they wanted to put 4 people in one jeep. We finally got it worked out and got our own jeep. As far as the jeep safari goes, bring lots of candy and lolly pops for the kids that will over run your jeep. All they want is money and food. We thought that it was better to give them food instead of money. It really make you think how good we have it here in America. Make dinner reservations as soon as you get there. Also if you like to scuba dive do the same as they fill up real fast. Remember it is all free. The pool is warm but remember you are in the tropics. As far as shopping goes, try to shop on the beach as they where not so pushy as the ones just out side the hotel property. Now be prepared to bargin for what ever you want. We shopped for about one hour and wanted to get something to eat and found out that we had to bargin for that also. 4 beers and 2 plates of chicken and rice was going to be $35.00, good thing we asked first how much. As far as the water and ice. You will be fine. We took pepto before every meal and by the end of the trip we stopped taking it. The ice is bagged, purified ice and the water all comes from bottles big and small. The tap water is another story, use bottle water to brush your teeth. I can't express enough about tipping. We our both in the restaurant industry and they do remember. It is only a dollar. If you eat 3 times a day and tip 3 times a day you would only spend $21.00 a person for the whole week for 2 people, which is the price of some meals here in the states. Rememeber that you are in a third world counrty and the roads are not like here in America. Go and have a great time and remember that you are on vacation, and not at home or at work.

  • Stayed: August 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
Los Angeles, CA
15
Reviewed August 24, 2004

We were the guests of the resort from 8/13/04 to 8/19/04. My wife and I take a vacation at a different location every year, mostly in 4-5 star resorts. I can tell you one thing for sure from my experience that Paradisus Punta Cana is not a 5 star resort.

I am dissapointed with the Sol Melia Group which is proud of its many resorts allover the world for not maintaining English speaking personnel and better food service.

Although we had fun trying to communicate in Spanish using the fun dictionary given at the check in, when there is an emergency it was hard to communicate with the staff.

Food is plenty and exotic. However, I was suprised to see that they kept the food in room temperature where it should be stored in refrigerated areas. Since food stays out for several hours, it is not hard to believe that it will go bad in the heat of the day, well, nights are are not any different ..hot and humid. My wife got sick and ate only bread and drank bottled water for three days. By the way, sickness from the food or dissappointment is the common subject among all visitors that we met at the airport, excursions or shuttles from all of the other resorts in Punta Cana area.

One personal item, the resorts' only pizza place, Dolce Vita, which we hoped would serve safe food was horrible. This is a request directly for the resort management, somebody please show the chef how to make pizza. A margarita pizza with thin crust should not be drowning in cheese. I give them the benefit of the doubt ordering the same pizza twice, and dissappointed twice.

On the other hand, resort is very pretty with its open setting from the lobby to its restaurants with well manicured landscaping. The Beach is spectacular. We really enjoyed the nightly shows and the dancers who are very friendly and fun people.

Overall, If you speak Spanish, have a strong stomach and handle the heat and humid, go to Paradisus, Punta Cana. Keep your expectations low then you might enjoy your vacation.

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A TripAdvisor Member
New Jersey
114
Reviewed August 20, 2004

Four of us, all women, stayed at the Paradisus for 8 days and it was wonderful. Two of us had travelled their last year and had such a good time we took 2 more friends with us.

I read all of the reviews and I notice a touch of "attitude" in all of the negative reviews. There is an air of "superiority" in most of the negative reviews. Yes it is true that most of the workers do not speak English but most try. Remember we are visiting their country. I do not find them rude at all. A little niceness goes a long way. But we as individuals have a habit of catching that "attitude" when things don't go exactly as we expect. You must understand that these folks work upwards of 12-16 hrs a day for much, much less than what we get for minimum wage and they try their hardest to please.

Yes there probably is some room for improvement at the resort (not too much that I can think of)....top shelf liquor, multiple restaurants to dine, a beautiful beach, a large pool although the water temp is warm (this can't be helped because of the strong sun), a staff at the beach that makes every attempt to ensure that vacationers are entertained, nightly shows, beautiful landscaping, a spa....I could go on and on. Bottom line here is that you need to leave your superior attitudes at home and go with an open mind and enjoy yourself....you are on vacation. If you want to go somewhere where your language is spoken, then travel within your country (and I bet there will be times that you are not totally pleased, it can happen anywhere). How do you expect the staff to be kind to you if you are rude to them? Case in point as I stated earlier there were 4 of us. We had 2 rooms. When we arrived at 11:30 our rooms were ready, but they had King beds...we needed 2 doubles in each room. We were told that it could be done but the rooms would not be ready until 4:00...we had a choice take the Kings or wait. We waited, we ate, drank, took a walk around the grounds. We had a change of clothing in our carry on luggage so we were very comfortable while we waited for our rooms. The point I am trying to make is that, yes we could have been upset for the delay in the preparation of our rooms, but that would have set the whole tone of the trip....Basically, we had a "don't worry, be happy" attitude and that attitude took us through a wonderful week.

As far as the food is concerned, use basic common sense. Just because it is an all inclusive that does not mean eat things that you normally would not, if you are not sure. Drink the bottled water, and by the way the water they serve in your glasses at meals is also bottled.

If you decide to go, tell the beach crew, Johnnie, Pasqual, Wilson and Ambi that the Jersey girls said Hola. If you visit the bars (lobby and Hybiscus), tell Enrique, Omar, Santos, and Socrates the Jersey girls said Hola! (They make great drinks, even non-alcoholic drinks for the non-drinkers). Jesus at the towel shack is also very pleasant and funny (yes there was one time late in the afternoon when towels were not available, cuz folks do not return them...but Jesus makes sure that fresh ones arrive)...tell him we said Hola! If any of you are tennis players tell Raul, the Jersey girls said Hola!

By the way, I don't speak Spanish or understand it, but I had no problem communicating. I am learning a little bit at a time because I plan on returning to the Paradisus for many more years to come.

Go with an open mind, leave your worries behind and I guarantee you that it will be good, relaxing times. And if you are really unsure of the food, take the Pepto...didn't need it, but it can't hurt.

  • Stayed: July 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto, Ontario
14
Reviewed August 17, 2004

We have stayed at 4 and 5 star all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico including Iberostar and Allegro resorts in Mexico, the Holiday Inn in Aruba and Allegro in Turks & Caicos. We have travelled every year for the past 15 years to a Southern destination, and Paradisus in Punta Cana is the first resort we loved so much we are going for the third time this year! The grounds of the resort are gorgeous and well maintained. Very lush with rivers and small ponds throughout. The rooms are large (even the basic Junior Suite is a good size room) and beautifully decorated. The food selection is great. A large number of a la carte restaurants so we didn't have buffet once for dinner! The Mexican, French and Italian (great pizzas) restaurants were very good. The drinks are great, premium liquor is included! We are beach people (though the pool is fantastic and very large), and this beach cannot be beaten! Large and clean with plenty of chaises. The water is wonderful for swimming. Overall, it is the best resort we have visited and look forward to another wonderful vacation!

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Reviewed August 9, 2004

I have returned from Paradisus the past day 25 of July. This was my third stay there and my opinion cannot be better (of course, but not stay so many times). I think that the place is charming and the staff really great.

Although, far better service during the first week (before the 15 of July) that passed this date, when the hotel was totally full.

Food is excellent (contrary to which some other users think), it exists a great variety of restaurants, thing very to be thankful when fifteen days stay there. So the wine letter is very good, with Spanish, Chileans, Argentineans, French wines, and until catalan cava and champagne.
None of the three times I had stomach problems, neither myself, nor other member of my family.

The personnel who takes the diving club is wonderfull, very friendly and servicial. It is of the few hotels that include this activity, although say that they only include two immersions, the certain thing is that you can do more without surcharge.

It is certain that he begins to need a remodeling, mainly in the bathrooms, but he consists to me that already they have begun to do it. We will have patience.

I hope to return next year. I am like in my own house (or better).

  • Stayed: July 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Corbeiroa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2004

My wife and I stayed at Paradisus Punta Cana from July 27 to August 4, 2004. We had a wonderful time. I have read all of the reviews on this site, and some of the negative reviews have valid points. I was prepared for this and didn’t let little things spoil my good time. First, I will tell you about some of the great things on the vacation, then I will respond to all of the criticisms that I read.

The best part for me was the golf. Cocotal Golf Club is a very nice, but long course. There are three nines, but only two were open. It was easy to get a tee time. We took food and water from the resort to the course. My wife and I played five times during the week. The water sports were great. We had no problems getting reservations for scuba and catamarans. The other boats were available without reservations. It was my first scuba experience, and it was incredible. We got a DVD of our dive (extra), and it is wonderful. The room service was very fast and efficient. We ordered wine and champagne several times, and the longest it took was 30 minutes. The workers at the resort were very friendly and helpful. Most spoke little English, but we were prepared for this, so it was no problem. The room was beautiful, and well decorated. I was prepared for the small refrigerator and small ants which were no problem. The grounds were beautiful.

Overall, if you want to go to one of the finest resorts in the world and you won’t have fun without great food and top notch service, don’t go to Paradisus. If you can relax and enjoy yourself without everything being absolutely perfect, go and you will have a great time.

Also please follow the advice of the CDC to avoid stomach problems. Use pepto-bismol four times a day. It works. If you have a special condition, and need extra protection, go to your doctor in advance and get a prescription for Cipro, and take it as prescribed, starting a day before you go. My wife did this due recent intestinal surgery, and it worked for her.

Here is my response to criticisms of Paradisus:

Persistent seller of timesharing/excursions – Tell them politely you are not interested and they will lay off.

Sometimes long wait for trolley to main lobby from beach/pool area – It is a nice ten minute walk. I did it several times a day and enjoyed it greatly. It isn’t any longer than the walk from the car to the mall store you are going to.

unavaibality (sic) of the good restaurants – I’m not sure what this person means. I think that they mean that the restaurants that take reservations are hard to get into. This is true. You can book in advance, but these restaurants only have nicer décor, not better food. If you are going to this resort just for enjoyment of the gourmet food, don’t go. If is adequate, not great.

Towel problems every day – We were unable to get towels at the beach a few days late in the afternoon.

take 10 minutes to get a drink – The service was slow for drinks in a few of the restaurants, especially Hybiscus.

Unavaibility (sic) of catamarans – We made a reservation two days in advance. There seemed to always be a lot of no shows, so if you were willing to go for one hour (reservations were for two hours), there was no problem.

often forget to replace shower towels – There was a sign in the room that you had to leave them on the floor if you wanted them replaced.

Most of the staff do not speak English – This is true. It was quite charming. I only speak a little Spanish, and I had no problem. We also played golf with a Frenchman who spoke no Spanish or English. After two holes we realized that we both spoke a little German. Sehr gut.

The (restaurant) service is very weak – I never expect good restaurant service at an all-inclusive resort. There are too many people to feed, and you tend to get ok service. We had a great time at the average restaurants because we found what we liked and focused on it. Excellent wine. We also asked the manager of the Mexican restaurant to make a special dish for us (asked a day in advance). He was happy to comply.

the rooms were not ready – True. Our room was not ready. It was no big deal. We went to the bar and then took a tour of the resort. Had a great time until 6:00 when it was ready. Be prepared for this and don’t let it ruin your vacation.

there are at least two power outages per day – There must have been some problem when this person was there. We never had any outages the week we were there. The electric clocks did run 1-2 minutes fast per day however. If you are an electrical engineer, you will know that this is due to inaccurate frequency which is not corrected.

they require long pants for men in a lot of the restaraunts – I’m glad. All of these restaurants are air conditioned.

Bad smell every day behind the pool bar – I noticed this. I think it is trash storage. I avoided the area after the first few passes.

Had to avoid eating any raw foods (fruits, salads etc) and ice cubes due to possible bacteria – This is true. Go to the CDC web site and check out traveler information. At any location in DR, you should not eat any raw food. You should also take Pepto Bismol four times a day. I followed this routine, and had no problem. I did use the ice cubes and had no problem.

Ants in the rooms especially in the bathroom – I didn’t see them at first because they were so small. We had them in the bathroom, and in the living area one day. Once or twice I flicked them, but they were so small that I didn’t even bother to call about them. Then were totally harmless.

Two of our friends had their birth certificates stolen – There is a safe, and we used it. If you don’t you are taking your own chances.

a two star hotel – Wow! While it is not a 5 star by USA standards, but it is very nice. The room was quite large, with a separate living area. It was very nicely decorated. The marble in the bathroom was nice. The wood frame around the door was in excellent shape except for one small area about one square inch which was gray where water had sprayed from the shower. Overall the rooms are like a nice Hilton, much better than Holiday Inn. The food and restaurant service is probably three stars – not the reason to go there, but find something you like enjoy.

The drinks, well, not a lot of options, and even if you are willing to pay $45-75 for a bottle of wine – This person must only like California or French wines, which were scarce. I personally have a wine cellar with about 500 bottles in it, and I know good wine from bad. They did not have a good selection of Chardonnay, but in all other areas, the wine was excellent. They also had wines that were not on the list, but were included. I had no need to pay for any of the premium wines. The Japanese Restaurant had the only good Chardonnay – all of the others used the standard resort wine list.

There is a lack of chair (sic) and the customers reserve their chair from the middle of the night – Maybe this person was there at a different time of the year, but we had no problem finding chairs at the pool or on the beach.

only a few restaurants are inside and air conditioned (barely) – French, Japanese, Brazilian, Italian and Mexican are air conditioned. Seafood on the beach had a nice breeze and didn’t need it. Hybiscus buffet was sometimes hot for lunch.

one of the passengers had passed out from heat in the open air airport – The airport has two terminals – one is air conditioned. They are close enough that it is no big deal to wait in the air conditioned one until close to your boarding time. When we were there, there was a nice breeze.

Walkways for guests were also used constantly for employee vehicles – True. I didn’t consider this a problem. The 24 hour room service took between 5 and 25 minutes because they did this. It was great.

many people go topless – True, true, true.

El Romantico...no biggy..nicely decorated but same food – True. Same with the Japanese restaurant.

The Hibiscus and Grill buffets are open concept and attrack (sic) flies – Not true for Hybiscus – the buffet is enclosed in an air conditioned room with sliding doors. I never saw a fly on any of the buffets. The grill buffet is not air conditioned, but it is close to the beach and gets a good breeze. They have cooling units under the salad and fruit (but as I mentioned above, the CDC recommends not eating them.)

the pool, at times, was littered with straws and plastic cups – True, too many slobs as guests. It would be nice if they cleaned better around the pool bar.

Our transfer from the airport was a stifling hot bus with no air conditioning or windows that could be opened – The transfer is arranged by your tour operator, not the hotel. They usually stop at multiple hotels making for a long hot trip. I recommend spending the extra $22 for a taxi.

heavy odor of what smelled like raw sewerage (sic) on the grounds – I smelled this one time, but only for a second.

I had a lobster tail so overcooked it was like mashed potatoes – I had this also. I have made the same mistake myself. Spiny lobster is easy to overcook.

I hope you like cats because we had 3 STRAY CATS IN OUR ROOM – I only saw stray cats a few times, never in a room. I think this was a fluke.

19  Thank ChuckInAtl
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 Resort

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:
#16 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#25 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#33 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $258 - $679 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Paradisus Punta Cana Resort 4*
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 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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