My family (with three kids ages 7-11) stayed at the Paradisus Punta Cana resort from April 5-11 and were looking forward to some relaxation, good food and beach time. Like a lot of people on vacation, we lead very hectic and busy lives in "the real world" and were looking forward to being waited on and maybe even pampered a bit (after all, the "Reserve" is marketed as a 5 star resort). Unfortunately, not only was there no pampering, there was close to no customer service at all. In fact, by the end of the trip, the kids were even referring to the resort as the "Land of 'No'" because we heard that word so often from staff members when we asked them about something or for something.
There are plenty of accounts of the ridiculous restaurant reservation system on this website, and I would encourage you to believe them. We arrived on Sunday and were told of the "stand in line at 8 am for reservations at half empty restaurants" policy. What a way to spend your first morning of vacation, right? We were able to secure reservations for Friday night (our last night there) but for no others. On the first few nights we ate at the Hybiscus restaurant which like most buffet style restaurants (including the "Gabi") had terrible (and often cold) food. We actually didn't even eat dinner on one of the nights because we didn't want to deal with the stress of convincing 3 children to wait 2+ hours at one of the non reservation restaurants and we couldn't stomach another terrible dining experience at the buffets. On the fourth night, we "tried" (and I emphasize "tried") to eat at the Chinese restaurant. We arrived at 715 and were told that it would be about 830 before we were seated. That was fine with us, and we sat down in the waiting area and had some drinks. Later, we were told that it would be closer to 9 or 915. OK--a little frustrating but we were in the mood for someone to serve us something. We got seated around 915 or so and immediately (or whenever the first waiter approached us--around 930 or so) ordered appetizers, soups and our meals. At around 1000, the appetizers came out and the soups around 1030. By this time, 2 of the kids were asleep in their chairs. We waited another 15 minutes or so until about 1050 before leaving without eating our meals. Another satisfying dining experience. The ONLY good dining experience of the whole trip was at the Italian restaurant (about an hour wait but good and prompt service and great food).
For the most part, we found the resort staff to be fairly unfriendly and unhelpful. For example, no one at checkout asked us how our stay was or anything along those lines. On multiple occasions at the buffet restaurants, we would order soft drinks for the kids and either never receive them or have to ask 3-4 different waiters in order to have them brought to the table. There were some exceptions to this--the bartenders in the Reserve lobby bar were friendly and fun as well as the main property's pool bar staff. There was also one maid who went out of her way to help me one day. I think the biggest surprise to us during the week was that there was not a "culture" of going out of the way to help and serve the customers who are paying a lot of money to stay at the resort. Although we have stayed at other all-inclusive properties (including the Paradisus in Riviera Maya, Mexico, which was great and a main reason we chose this resort in DR), after this experience, we came to the conclusion that when you pay ahead of time for customer service instead of paying and TIPPING as you go, customer service suffers.
There were some positives about the resort. The grounds are beautiful and the rooms at the "Reserve" were nice as well. The pools were nice and the beaches were as beautiful as I have ever seen. However, these positives were definitely not enough to outweigh all of the negatives. For the first time in a long time, I was not upset to be coming home from vacation--a sad and telling statement indeed.
- 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 sumtuous 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 oceanview 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
- Paradisus Punta Cana Resort