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“Ahhhhh!”

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Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
Ranked #6 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Aurora, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Ahhhhh!”
Reviewed April 14, 2011

Given the circumstances of how we arrived at the NH Royal Beach, we had a wonderful time.

Traveling with my BF, as well as my brother and sister-in-law, this resort was not even in the running when we were considering where to vacation n PC. We booked at the Catalonia Royal but one week before our trip we (and as it turns out, many others) were bumped to the NHRB. After relying on the reviews (and forum posts) of my fellow TA brothers and sisters, we began to look forward to our trip. We were not disappointed.

The resorts proximity to the airport meant we were there within 15 to 20 minutes after our arrival. After check in we headed to our rooms to drop off our things. Our rooms were located on the bottom floor facing the service road that staff use to travel to the restaurant. This was disappointing. It had the typical musty smell. I couldn't find the recommended damprid so brought an air sponge purchased at Wal-Mart, which seemed to do the trick. Being smokers who do not like to smoke in our room, we used the patio frequently. While staff passing by were always friendly, there was a constant parade so there really was no privacy. The buffet and restaurants are at the end of the block, so we also had constant cooking smells wafting up to our room. We made inquiries with Leonardo at reception about a room change and after the second night, we were moved to room 4250 in the opposite building block. Ahhh...this was more like it! On the second floor and now centrally located, we had a lovely view of the lazy river and alot more privacy. You really are a ninja, Leonardo!

The resort is picturesque; the lazy river that winds around the centre is bordered by gardens that are well manicured. The beach...I have not previously been to the DR so I was blown away by the soft white powder texture of the sand and the turquoise colour of the ocean. The ocean was cool and inviting after baking in the hot sun. Yes there is seaweed. It didn't bother me in the least. Step over it and move on people!

The lazy river really is fun. We didn't bring or buy anything to float on but would consider bringing something if we return to this resort. It was great to slowly wind around and chat with other guests as you go. While there is a swim up bar at the end closest to the beach it (wisely) has its own pool and is not connected, so the river stays lazy.

Food and drinks are plentiful and well prepared. The buffet had a different theme every night and we all found something enjoyable. We tried three of the al a cartes; El Mortero (on the royal side), the Tapenaki and Cinque Terre (on the arena side). The food was good at all. The tapenaki restaurant was alot of fun. We also paid extra for an all -u-can-eat grilled lobster dinner on the beach. The lobster was delicious, the service was great and the setting couldn't have been better~awesome experience! My sister-in-law can't eat lobster so they prepared a steak for her that was perfectly cooked, tender and juicy. The servers at all of the restaurants were great, and really took care of us. Yakline at El Mortero was a stand out and included us as family. Happy, Happy! Be prepared for smiles and jokes and occasionally, to get up and dance with the staff, when the mood strikes.

While we don't know Spanish, my Italian background came in handy as they are similar. Some of the staff only speak Spanish but there are many who speak multiple languages so you will get by. Learning some phrases (cinecero por favor!) really comes in handy and seemed to be appreciated. The google translator app didn't hurt either.

A tip for great pictures~when facing the beach the block of rooms on the right (closest to the beach) has an open area on the third floor (above the coveted suites) that overlooks the beach where you can take amazing pictures of the ocean and beach bar. Anyone can go up there, just take the stairwell at the end of the block, closest to the beach, and up three floors (you're welcome!)

We have two criticisms of this resort, the renovations of the entertainment area and the beach/pool-palapa/seating.

They started renovations on the entertainment area located at the lobby on the day of our arrival so there were several days of jack-hammering that echoed throughout the pool area all day long (but couldn’t be heard at the beach) and work has taken place well into the evening. It looks like they are building the foundation for a stage similar to the NHRA side. There is never a good time for improvements to take place at a resort, but you don’t expect it will happen during your stay. With the jack-hammering over, the sound levels are not that bad but there won’t be entertainment in this area for a while. The entertainment on the NHRA side was just a short walk away and was fun. There was a band that played by the lobby bar on our last night and they were great. Unfortunately, it was cut short by a downpour, but that was entertainment itself!

Getting up at an ungodly hour just to get a seat is not my idea of a vacation. My sister-in-law is an early riser (5:30-6:00) who was only able to secure a palapa on two occasions. On the second occasion one of the “reserved” palapas was hi-jacked by a gentleman who did not seem to understand, and pointed us in the direction of where to get towels…hmmm. Not being an early riser myself, I even got up one day but, at 6:30 was only able to secure chairs on the palm tree side. The pool side seating is seriously deficient and has plenty of room to be expanded. I watched a couple spread their towels out on the sand then pay staff to bring them chairs. Management needs to address this issue to ensure that all guests have access to comfortable seating and sufficient shade from the strong Caribbean sun.

While not allowed (by security) into the area where you sit, there are the aggressive salesmen who want you to go shopping down the way. It’s located in a dilapidated building to the right (facing the beach) of the resort. The salesmen are aggressive and can be intimidating initially but, eventually bartering for their goods was fun! Don’t be afraid to talk them down to a quarter of their price. It is a game~they appreciate a good barter and will shake your hand when you secure a good price. They are good people who are just trying to make a living.

We were able to go on PC Mike’s tour and that made our vacation special (review to come). We did not partake of any other excursion except to take the shuttle over to the shopping mall. The shuttle does not run frequently so we paid for a taxi on return ($8.00 for a 2 minute ride – no bartering).

Did we have a good time? Absolutely! We certainly weren’t about to let minor annoyances get in the way of a much-needed vacation. Will you have a good time? Definitely, just bring the right attitude (and a whole bunch of sunscreen!) Will we go back? Overall, the resort is great. This is my first trip to DR so I would certainly consider other options that would more closely match my needs before returning here again.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
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2 Thank sandptravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Moncton, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2011

Our group was relocated here from the Catalonia Royal due to CR overbooking. Otherwise this would not have been my choice due to the location amongst so many resorts. CR is located 2 miles south and the very last resort. That being said I will be fair. Its a beautiful resort, the food was amazing with the exception of the Grill (at NH Real side) which was okay but nothing special. The beach is beautiful. Who can complain when they are fortunate enough to swim in the caribbean really. Coming from the east coast of Canada my husband and I like the quiet uninhabited locals beaches in our area over the touristy ones, however it didnt take long to get used to and appreciate it for what it was. The grounds between the buildings are so much prettier in person than the pictures can show. The nightlife at the NH Real next door was cheesy but entertaining. The staff is amazing through and through, give them manners and you will get it and more right back. These people work so hard and always with a smile. I was happy to tip, it is worth it. The room was the big problem for us and it did change the whole mindset of the trip. We were 3 couples, one was fortunate to get 3rd floor facing pool, and the rest were first floor overlooking a very busy back service road. The musty smell in our room was overbearing at times, there was mold stains on the couch cushions and the bed smelled heavily of this. Some days were worse than others. The deck was an even bigger issue. We are deck people, in the summer we can be seen all hours of the night sitting out enjoying the quiet fresh air. We were very much looking forward to doing this but night after night I would try but was pushed back inside by the heavy (at times) vehicle traffic (golf carts, small trucks for delivery, cars), employees must come and go from this road as well. And to top it off a guard was stationed outside across that road. He would be standing facing the building 24/7....I was not going to use the jacuzzi with this fella standing there! So while we had great days, our evenings were very tense with the thought of returning to the room. We tried to relocate (as did the other couple, they got lucky) to an upper floor facing the pool. We were told yes the next day, told the room number, perfect!, we packed and went to get the key and in those 2 hours our room changed to back service road upper floor), still back service road and not worth the move. They argued they charged extra for those rooms facing the pool however our friends got a room with no extra charge. So its luck of the draw but it did change the evening atmosphere significantly for us since this was our first, and likely only trip south. Perhaps there is no perfect vacation.

Room Tip: go in with an open mind and expect nothing
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank brewsky9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oromocto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 12, 2011

we found every aspect of our stay to be beyond our expectations. the staff was amazing, they were always friendly and more than willing to help. the food and the drinks were delicious and extremely varied. we had no problems really.

definitely bring inflatables for the pool, we bought some at the gift shop for a pretty good price. and sun block, lots of sun block. the spray sun block stings on shaved parts (faces, legs, etc) as a warning.

Over all, we are counting down the days until we can return.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank thequigleys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Longlac, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2011

First of all..we were sent to this resort b/c the one i booked at was over-booked, We booked at the Catalonia Royal and we were sent to NH Royal..which turned out to be a very good thing. We were meeting friends from BC also and they were also moved here..so all was good!!
The landscaping and beach area is beautiful..very well kept, men are cleaning up the seaweed every morning, also i enjoyed the beach b/c it was private, guards on both sides of beach to control noisy ppl and peddlers from harrassing you while you relax. Pool area is also a big + for me, all though big enough is seems private with chairs not on top of one another..swim up bar area is also great, can get into the party mood around 4pm..music and dancing going on..but if you want quiet you can sit further away from swim up bar and relax. The only tip is, like anywhere, if you want a good spot by the pool or beach you probably should be up between 6-7am, there is a sign that says not to reserve chairs, but everyone is doing it anyways!
Food was excellent!!!! Buffet was fantastic, didn't try the buffet at the family side (NH arena) breakfast was very good, choice of freshly made omletes or eggs any style and lots of choices otherwise, smoothies, fresh fruit, bacon, sausage, cereal, oatmeal..etc.
lunch was great also, pasta freshly made, always a roast meet, ( beef, pork, lamb) fries, wings, rice, veggies, soups, salads, fruit..lots of variety..
meals were excellent at the a la cartes, my favorite was Pure, 7 course meal...delicious! i also enjoyed italian, japanese, and mexican, the steakhouse was ok..food was pretty good, but it was very hot, we asked if ac was broken and they said no. not sure why so hot, but difficult to enjoy our meal while sweating!
Service was excellent, but i did listen to others advice on here about bring $100 in ones and tipped just about everyone, bell boys, maids, bartenders, waiters and waitresses, guys making omletes..and we can't say enough about the service!!! Fantastic!!! Everyone was friendly and eager to help~ we rarely opened a door or pulled out a chair~ and i felt very relaxed!
Rooms were very clean, comfortable beds, like the fact everyone has there own private hot tub outside the room on the balconies.. nice flat screen TV's, although very rarely in the room, they were very nicely decorated and comfortable. only problem was 1st room i checked into was very strong musty odour and within 1-2 nights sleep, i became congested and requested to change rooms, Leonardo was very accomadating and moved me after a third trip to the front desk with my request to move, i realize they were full and i had to wait for someone to check out.
I would highly recommend this resort, great nightly entertainment and great atmosphere, staff are happy and seem to enjoy having a great time at work~ AAA++

Room Tip: I would recommend a room on the main level
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank amgoulet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2011

The NH Royal Beach is a great resort. The beach is gorgeous and the pool area is nice and clean with a fun swim up bar! The rooms are nice enough and clean, the beds are comfortable. I would say that they aren't luxurious, but honestly you don't spend much time in them anyways...

There are a ton of food options for dinner and most of them are okay. I would say that if you are accustomed to eating a healthy, low fat diet the meals might be a bit challenging for you. I think because this resort is all-inclusive and caterers to a wide range of nationalities, we expected some deviation from our low-fat, organic diet. (For instance, they use A LOT of mayonaise in everything and most entree dishes come with an abundance of sauce...)

Overall, we had a great time! The staff is nice and friendly!

Room Tip: Ask for a room closer to the beach...
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank heberc22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 3 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2011

We stayed at NH Royal Beach from March 21-26 for our honeymoon and it was perfect! We arrived well before check-in time and they said they had our room ready for us. When we got to our room there was someone else's luggage in there. The front desk sorted everything out for us. The couple in that room had a flight delay so they decided to stay longer. For our inconvenience, the supervisor upgraded us to the beach front suite for free for our entire stay! It was definitely worth the hassle! The room was HUGE and beautiful. There was a living room and little dining room table and the bedroom was a seperate room. There were two full bathrooms, a jacuzzi in the bathroom and on the patio. We had our own personal butler as well. He surprised us with a bubble bath one night. There was even a heart in the tub made out of flower petals, candles, and incense. It was beautiful. The miad service was fantastic. I left a note with the tip each day asking for extra Diet Coke and water they gave me 3 bottles of each, each day. Room service was great as well. We ordered it almost every day and it always came within 20 minutes and the food was always the perfect temperature. The grounds and beach were beautiful. There was not much seaweed at all. My husband and I both LOVED the food. Neither or us got sick. I was worried my husband would because he has Crohn's disease but he had no troubles at all. The service was phenomenal. I would recommed this resort 100% if you want a relaxing vacation!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank malloriebarnett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kiev, Ukraine
1 review
Reviewed April 9, 2011

this place for fun in all the ways. Dominikan people are realy nice and freandly. Ckoktails are incredably delishios.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank ellektra2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana

Property: Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
Address: Ave Alemania S/N | El Cortecito, Bavaro Beach, 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 Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#6 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#6 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#11 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana 4.5*
Number of rooms: 465
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally situated on the picturesque palm-studded, sugar white Playa Bavaro beach on the eastern coastline of the Dominican Republic, Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana offers adults all the privileges of Unlimited-Luxury(R). Guests will immediately be embraced within an extraordinary environment where luxury illuminates every detail and our high level of personal service is unmatched. To ensure your romantic escape is everything you've imagined, every detail of your stay will be flawlessly provided and superbly attended to. From the fine quality linens to the daily refreshed mini bar and the unlimited premium brand beverages to the pool and beach wait service. You'll be immersed within a world of stunning architectural design coupled with resplendent views of the lush gardens, crystal-clear Caribbean Sea and dazzling swimming pools. This tranquil, romantic haven in Playa Bavaro is like nothing else you've ever experienced before. ... more   less 
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