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“Above Average Experience”

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Paradisus Punta Cana Resort
Ranked #27 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersGold level
A TripAdvisor Member
Philadelphia
114
Reviewed January 31, 2006

Background: My wife and I are late 30s, professionals, and booked an all-inclusive in the hope we would not have to think OR worry about anything. We chose the Paradisus based on international flavor (less ugly Americans), access to golf, and ability to book the Royal Service (resort within the resort idea which we like).

Summary: 90% of our expectations were met, with the 10% being inconveniences versus "real" problems. While expensive ($450/night at the Royal level), the resort provided us with above average value.

Royal Service: Positives - (1) Beachfront, second floor, corner room in good, not great shape; (2) Royal service lounge (private breakfast, free internet); (3)concierge service all requests //// Negatives - (1) The private Royal Service pool will not be open till late this year; (2) beach waiter service was non-existent; (3) check out was confused

Staff and Service: 60% great, 30% fair, 10% indifferent. Special mention to Stenio in the Royal Lounge - muchas gracias senor!

Beach and Pool: Astounding

Cocotal Golf: Good resort course, wide open, excellent grooming, large fast true greens, and a three club wind made it interesting.

Food: Fine to above average across the board - dined at French, Italian, Steakhouse, Grill, and multiple orders from room service. Always had my wine choice.

Liquor and cigarettes: Top shelf and freely available in excess!

Tipping: Yes it helps (no surprise) - we distributed $60 - $80 over four days.

In closing: This is a 5 star DR resort - which means it is a 3.5 star on the global scale.

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
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14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8,900 - 8,906 of 13,093 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Vienna, VA
19
Reviewed January 30, 2006

We spent six nights at the Paradisus in January. We opted for the Royal Service and were so glad we did. The only thing missing was the butler service. He met us the first day, offered all kinds of service, and we never saw him again. The resort is beautiful, the restaurants and service were great. I think the beach is the nicest one in the Caribbean. Soft sand and miles of beach. The only problem was the wind. It was so windy we could not sit on the beach. We learned from some of the help that January, and sometimes February, are very windy months. Wish we had known that and we would have waited till March. It is a resort you will love.

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
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9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2006

I can't begin to tell you how wonderful our vacation was. We were there Jan 19-25. We had so much fun, we are already planning a return trip with our friends.

We did get the Royal Service upgrade which we fully enjoyed. It probably would have been great without it, but we did enjoy our ocean front room and the special service we did receive when we asked for it.

The food was great, and the staff was always happy and ready to help

We didn't mind the spaciousness of the resort one bit. It gave us time to walk off our meals. When you look at the different restaurants be aware they sometimes have very beautiful outdoor seating that sometimes is a little more romantic then the main seating.

With the Royal Service your butler would fill a romantic bath upon request...Your jacuzzi would be filled with bubble bath, and flower pedals will be spread around the tub, with cute little candles to lite the way. A bottle of champaine or wine chilled to perfection for your enjoyment. It was just such a really romantic special service that I found so enjoyable when my husband surprised me with it. ( a great way to earn brownie points guys!)

The whole resort was fantastic. Go with the expectation of a fun, relaxing vacation, and you should have a great time

  • Stayed: January 2006
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17  Thank rd20000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2006

Stayed at the Paradisus Punta Cana Jan. 16-23, 2006. Paid $375 per night for 2 adults, all-inclusive. Booked via the hotel's website and purchased our airline tickets directly from AA.

Paradisus is 25-30 minutes from the airport (PUJ). A taxi will cost $25 one-way. US Dollars are accepted everywhere in the Dominican Republic, no need to exchange currency.

The Good....
The Paradisus is beautifully landscaped with lush, tropical grounds, very clean and well manicured. The lobby area is incredible, open-air and very tropical. Many of the restaurants are also open-air and very well decorated.

The swimming pool is one of the largest pools we have ever seen and the beach is beautiful-- great for long walks.

Our room was very nice, clean, and recently re-modeled. We did not pay for the optional "Royal Service" and do not recommend it.

The Bad....
Service. We have traveled to over 25 differnet islands in the Caribbean and have been to every country in Central America. This was the most unfriendly, unskilled, unprofessional staff we have ever seen. I would guess its more a cultural difference than a training issue. They just don't care, have no motivation, and no supervision to ensure that even the simplest tasks are completed. The poor level of service was consistant from the front dest check-in to the restaurants to the housekeeping staff.

Beds. The room is nicely decorated and furnished, but the beds are hard as a rock. Other friends we were traveling with had the same experience in their rooms. And the pillows-- they only have one type: flat and old! Not what you would expect from a 4 Star, let alone a 5 Star property.

Food. Most disappointing. The buffets are quite large and extensive, but the quality is just not there. The food is not hot enough. As for the restaurants, we ate at 8 out of the 10 choices. We liked the Italian and Brazilan restaurants, but again, the service was terrible. Each restaurant offers a wine list, but each night they were out of many choices. On our last night they only had 1 choice of Red. We opted for beer instead. We have stayed ot other Sol Melia properties and would rate this one at the bottom. Even Sol Melia's 3 Star resorts have better food than this place.

Misc.....
Other things to be aware of. The ocean is very cold. Perhaps 10 degrees colder than the BVI's or western Caribbean. There is never a problem finding a chair or palapa on the beach, but the pool chairs disappear very early in the morning. We like to walk and enjoyed walking the grounds, but you should be aware that it's a 15-20 minute walk each direction from the lobby to some rooms or the restaurant/ beach area. Also, the service vehicles, vans, tram, and scooters use the walkways and will not give way to guests. Watch out and step aside when they pass.

Overall, we were disappointed and won't be going back.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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26  Thank TXFlyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Pennsylvania
116
Reviewed January 22, 2006

We just returned from 7 days at the Paradisus in Punta Cana. This place was absolutely incredible! We have traveled before, cruised and nothing compares to the week we had at the Paradisus. What a pool! The beach was clean and uncrowded. Everyone we talked to (with the exception of one couple) loved it and said they would return. We didn't get sick nor did anyone we heard of. They really take extra steps to protect the visitors so all the food, deserts, drinks, and even the table water are from a bottled source.

The food was great! Our favorites were Chinese, Italian and Brazilian but all were superb. Staff was so friendly, helpful and fun. Approximately one in five spoke English "well" but most knew enough to be helpful.

There are trams constantly running but we waited as long as 15 minutes at times. Truth is, nothing is more than a 5 minute walk anywhere on the property.

We understand that the Paradisus Costa Rica and Puerto Rico are even nicer! The new Paradisus Palm Real that opened in December looks very nice too.

Advice #1: Take $100 in singles. Money talks; even at an all-inclusive. Leave $1 for the maid and she'll leave fresh flowers. Give the bartender a $10 at the beginning of the week and you'll never want! They make so little that a couple of dollars goes a long way.
Advice #2: There will be employees asking for 1 hour of your time to sell you a "time share" program. They'll give you a voucher towards a spa or hotel shop just for listening to the pitch. Don't take anything less than $75. If you avoid them, they'll hound you all week. Just give them 30 minutes and take the voucher.

The only mistake we made was not staying for 2 weeks….

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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16  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2006

We recently returned from a very relaxing and pleasant week at the Paradisus, Punta Cana. After reading some of the very negative reviews on this and other websites we went with very low expectations. Since this was our first experience with an all inclusive we were really concerned.
We were very pleasantly surprised!!!!
The check in process went smoothly, although we did have a 10-15 minute wait. It wasn't awful and they did serve us welcome cocktails at that time.
We could not upgrade to Royal Service at check in so if you want it do it before you go. I'm glad that we couldn't do it because we had a great experience without it. We never made a request that wasn't answered promptly.
The food was a very nice surprise. We liked all the restaurants except the big buffet-lots of food but it isn't very good and it's in a dimly lit, giant, noise filled room. The other restaurants were in lovely rooms with nice views with high quality food and attentive service.
We went to all but the Brazilian BBQ. The Japanese, Italian, French and Mexican were really very good. The Steak house and Grill were not bad. We didn't care for the Chinese but it wasn't awful.
By the way, we felt fine and did not get sick from the food. We drank bottled water but did have ice in our drinks. We also drank water at the table in the restaurants.
The drinks were wonderful. Very nice wines and good brands of liquor. The Pina Colads are great!!!!
The staff were lovely to us. We had no trouble with language at all. Most of the staff speak pretty good english...........and they really tried to help us in any way they could. We took $100 in singles and tipped those who helped us. The tips were most appreciated.
We did not have any problems with beach towels, chaise lounges or reservations. I don't understand why others have had these problems.
The one area that Sol Melia needs to work on is the room renovations. Our room was situated perfectly: an upper, near the beach, a short walk from the restaurants and pool but it was not renovated. Everything worked but it showed it's age. Not the type of room you feel terrific about but not awful either.
Stay away from the time share guys......it's a hard sell and they are not gracious if you are not interested.
The grounds and the beach are by far the most beautiful I've seen at any resort I've stayed at. Just gorgeous!!!!
We both had massages on the beach and they were great!
We also went on an ATV excursion which was lots of fun.
The evening entertainment is pretty good. We are pretty hard to please and we enjoyed some of the shows they had. They also have some decent music in the lobby at night and a disco. The casino is small but there is a bigger one right at the hotel entrance.

We've been to many other resorts in this area (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Antigua, Aruba, St Lucia, St Martin, etc) and we usually stay at Marriott's, Hyatts, even Rockresorts (when they owned more in the area),etc. I have to say for the money you get a very relaxing vacation at the Paradisus. I would stay at Sol Melia all inclusives again.
While we were there someone told us that now that the new Paradisus is open in Punta Cana Sol Melia is going to close this Paradisus for an extensive renovation of the rooms. Not a bad idea! Once that is done this will be the perfect resort.

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank manny'sgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2006

Just returned from a week at the Paradisus Punta Cana. We were very concerned after reading all of the reviews. We had switched from the Iberostar Maya in Mexico after the hurricane.

We loved it. We went with our 5 year old twins and we all had a fantastic time. We found the staff extremely friendly, almost everybody to be fluent enough in english to communicate and the grounds and facilities to be beautiful.

I do agree with other reviews that the place has drawbacks/weaknesses. The rooms were spacious but a tad rundown (we did royal service) and the food was good but not great. (Lunch was the weakest but with the exception of the steakhouse, we loved all dinners).

With that said, I found that while it might not be a 5 star hotel, we weren't paying 5 star prices. I thought the value for the money was exceptional and that any weaknesses were greatly overshadowed by the positives.

My kids went to the kids club each day and for dinner most nights as well as to evening activities so my husband and I could enjoy some time to ourselves.

I can understand why the resort gets mixed reviews on this site but I think if your expectations are aligned (not paying Four Seasons prices) you will be pleasantly surprised. I was!

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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8  Thank KRMW
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:
#17 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#27 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#33 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $278 - $667 (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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Also Known As:
Paradisus Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana

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