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Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
Ranked #9 of 114 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed July 29, 2011

My friends and I just returned from Secrets Royal Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The resort is beautiful, with huts along the white sand beaches, and turquoise blue Atlantic waters. The photos on their website is what you get! Our room looked exactly like the one shown. We had a garden view room which was great, and we were at the beginning of the free form pool, which was great to float in! One of the rooms we had was an end room, #4128, which made it convenient to get in and out of the free form pool. We spoke to other guests who had swim up rooms, and they loved them. Also, bring your own floats/tubes. The resort does not provide any, and they will blow them up for you. You can buy them in the gift shop, but it's more expensive than bringing your own.

You must remember you are on Dominican "island" time, so the service may seem slower than what you are used to, so just relax and enjoy where you are!! :-))

The wait staff at the restaurant was great, however, the food was just fair. We ate at Mercure (French), Spice (Asian/Teppanyaki), Capers (Italian), Oceans (Seafood), Seaside Grill (Steak and Seafood), and at the Rivera Buffet. We each had a favorite, but for me, I preferred Spice (table & Teppayaki). The restaurants are either in Secrets (Adults Only) or in NOW Larimar Resort (Family). The two properties are shared. Guests from Secrets can use both resorts, but guests from Larimar cannot come over to Secrets. There are security guards along the border of the two resorts checking room keys. The restaurants are mainly at NOW Larimar. Be forewarned! You usually have to wait in a long line to put your room number in, but there's a chance you won't get in until much later or at all. We tried to get into Spice every night we were there for the Teppanyaki grill, and the only time they had was either 9:30 or it was full for the evening. We finally got in on our last night, but at 9:30. All the other restaurants we were able to get in, but there was always an hour or more wait time. So, if you like to dine early and get there when it opens, you'll be fine. However, if you are like us, we like to maximize our beach/pool time and eat later, which is where the problem occurred. So, if you're a late diner, especially for Spice, go early to put your room number down (and watch to make sure they write it down!!) and they'll probably tell you the wait is an hour or more, then go get ready for dinner. During lunch time, go to the bbq grill outside. They will grill up chicken, hamburgers, hotdogs, ribs, and kabobs. The chicken was my fave!! Then, go into Rivera buffet to get your other foods.

The swim up bar and the beach bar were both terrific and entertaining! The entertainment staff was definitely outgoing and fun. A few of the daily activities that we participated in included, yoga/Pilates on the beach, water aerobics in the pool, step aerobics, Zumba, caribbean dance lessons, and fun contests in/by the pool! I actually won a bottle of Barcelo rum!! In addition they had daily special activities, including: painting (only 4 people could do this one and it was fun!), hat/bowl making with palm leaves (only 10 people could do this one, but we missed it), cigar lesson and making (we learned about the Dominican cigar and make sure to ask to make one), and Spanish lessons - basic and fun (she came up to us under our beach hut and gave us lessons). Other activities we did not participate in included drink making class, fruit decoration class, and bedding decorations. For some reason, they have all their activities back-to-back in the afternoon. They should spread it out throughout the day so you can participate in all of them, if you wanted to.

The nightly entertainment was okay, and could improve. The entertainment was at NOW Larimar. The disco could have been better if the DJ played a variety of music genres. It was mainly Dominican music, which was great, but there were a lot of international guests there, especially from the US, and it would have been nice to hear some American music to dance to. In addition, the kids and teenagers were allowed in the disco, which didn't feel like an adult nightclub. We usually missed the nightly shows because we were dining at the same time as the shows. We did see the Michael Jackson show, which was entertaining. We also went to the disco for karaoke, which was fun. After dinner, we usually found ourselves back at Secrets having a cocktail in the plaza. Secrets had live music nightly, but ended at 11pm. Again by the time we finished dining, we usually only heard a couple of songs and the band was packing up. The evening basically ended around 11pm for us.

We went on one excursion, to Santo Domingo. It was a long bus ride to and from Santo Domingo, but it was worth it. We booked through Amstar and it was a guided tour through the capital city. Each historical site we visited had it's own tour guide. I really liked seeing the Dominican culture and locals.

Housekeeping...you'll probably have to call down several times and wait a long time, if you want extra towels, mini bar refill, or just to get your room cleaned. Again, they're on DR "island" time. Otherwise, everything else was fine. Oh, those of you who use conditioner, bring your own. They provide a shampoo & conditioner combo, which most know does not work as a conditioner.

Checking out...the front desk will ask you to fill out a survey while you're checking out, which can be cumbersome when you're trying to catch your shuttle to the airport. My recommendation is to double check to make sure you do not have an outstanding balance and ask to fill out the survey the night before. Make sure to ask the concierge to prearrange your airport shuttle pick up the day before departure. We did not have any problems with Pietro Tours. They picked us up on time in a nice air conditioned charter bus and got us to the airport without any problems. Also, you can check in and print your boarding pass for your flight using the concierge's computer.

All in all, we had a fabulous time, and we really didn't want to leave!! We all wished we could stay another week!! That should tell you how wonderful Secrets Royal Beach really was!! This resort opened in May 2011, so they are still trying to figure out the kinks and are working towards improving their resort. If you book with Secrets, I hope you have a great experience as my friends and I did!! :))

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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4  Thank rbluv2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,777 - 7,783 of 10,376 reviews

Reviewed July 28, 2011

Overall nice resort though food was terrible and I usually eat anything. But when you get sick on your second day,You loose your appetite. Workers are friendly though can not speak english well except for the sale people they speak good. My wife and I were both sick with vomiting and diarrhea , last a day and half in bed. Not sure what makes you sick because we did not over indulge. There were many people I talked to that had gotten ill. AS I said its a nice resort but I don't see where people say the food is great unless your drunk. The BBQ chicken was about the only good item I ate. If I had to pay to come here again I wouldn't I would choose a different vacation spot. I think florida has some better beaches without all the see wead daily

Room Tip: Bring something for your diarrhea
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank beachfun40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2011

I just returned from Punta Cana last Sunday and wanted to let others know about our experience at Secrets Royal. The grounds are very pretty, the pool was nice, and our room was spacious. We had a corner room overlooking the beach which was beautiful. We never had a problem with the maid service, in fact, I thought they were pretty good and we never had a problem getting towels. The mini bar is small - make sure you turn the temperature down in the fridge to the coolest temperature.

Those were pretty much the only positives of the hotel. Here are the negatives: the beach was way too crowded, the drinks were very small and not very tasty compared to other resorts that we have stayed at in Punta Cana, they were constantly trying to get you to come to their time share presentation, the gym was terrible, the restaurants were hot, they charge you $60USD for a week's worth of internet, and you have to go over to the Now side for everything.

We ended up switching to the Iberostar Grand and absolutely loved it. The whole ambiance is relaxing, quiet, and the drinks and food were much better. I loved the vacation once we got to the new hotel.

Here's my advice - if you like a more party atmosphere and aren't too concerned with luxury then the Royal is for you. My recommendation is to bring your own rafts, bring your own cup for the drinks (we saw a lot of people with their own cups), and either book a swim up room or an ocean view (which is what we had).

If you want to go on vacation, be pampered, and enjoy the beautiful uncrowded beach, this is not the hotel for you. Spend the extra money and go to Iberostar Grand or Excellence Punta Cana. It is worth it! Internet was free at Iberostar too which was a plus.

Hope it helps!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kris072
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2011

our reservation was at the NOW, but they upgraded us to Secrets. If you are traveling without children, I highly recommend the move. The pool was never crowded, the beach was amazing and the staff great. The rooms were lovely and big. Great vacation!!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank weiss5fam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2011

Being a travel agent, I get an opportunity to see many resorts and compare star qualities to what they think they are! =) I saw this new take over resort (formally NH Royal) last month. This is adults only and managed by AMResorts which is affiliated with DREAMS, SECRETS, NH and NOW. Next door is the family version called NH Larimar. Staying at the Secrets gives you exchange priviliges with the family resort and in this instance, that is a good thing since the Secrets lacks enough restaurants if you are staying more than 4 nights. Also, the mini casino is located at Larimar and opens at 4 PM I believe, but don't expect much, if you are going to Punta Cana to gamble, either don't stay here or take a cab to the Riu Palace, there you can enter their MUCH bigger casino.

ROOMS: Nice, clean, all redone with Secrets in mind. All rooms are Jacuzzi Jr Suites and the price difference is based on view or location. Swim, up rooms are quiet area but don't recommend spending more money on that category, go for the oceanview. Beach is amazing here but very little movement in the water, bring your own blow up raft and float around the lazy type river that weaves through the property. I go to local drug store and buy them for $4.00 and just leave them there for others to use when I check out.

FOOD: Buffet for breakfast and lunch is good but does not change much. Dinner at the Oceana claims it is ala carte, but technically it is a pre arranged "tasting menu (see attached pic). Next door at Larimar fun sports type bar with great motif, be careful their "Vacation Club" salesmen are camping out there till their office is completed.

SERVICE: Great, people very nice and quick except if you camp out on a chair near lazy river, you never see any wait staff, oh and chairs are SO limited, get up early to grab 2!

INTERNET: Is NOT free unlike other Secret Resorts outside of Punta Cana. 24 hrs was roughly $18.95 per day I believe, but don't quote me exactly on that.

Room Tip: Ocean View
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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Thank DonnaLSTRAVEL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2011

Our vacation was an absolute nightmare. I cant tell you how disappointed I am with this resort. We took a family trip which was my husband, 2 college age daughters and a boyfriend. Upon arrival our rooms were very "wet" and damp, and smelled moldy. Changing the temperature did nothing to help. Our clothers, paperwork, sheets...everything was damp. The food is absolutely horrid. We went to all the buffets, restaurants, grills, etc and I cant tell you how bad it was and I'm not a picky eater. The second night my husband started vomiing. By day 4, boyfriend was in bed 30 hours with terrible stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhea. Day 5, both daughters got it. I was saved till the last day. I have been home 4 days and still having horrid pains and intestinal issues. So far, down 12 pounds and the only thing I ate was white rice once I saw everyone getting sick. We did not drink the water and there was no link to what we ate. Nobody speaks English although the staff is extremely friendly, they tried to accomodate. We went through 8 bottles of Pepto at $10 a bottle. Our toilet overflowed. No towels were brought to the room unless we asked. Our telivision broke 3 times and was replaced with another, cable went out twice. Room service did not show up twice and we couldnt order it from the broken phone in our room.When maids did show up it was at 10pm and we would be in bed sick. The pool was nice but had lots of bugs in it. We had to play the chair game everyday or didnt get a chair. That meant having to get up at 7am. I just cant tell you how bad this was . I saved up for a year to go on a nice vacation with my family and we have traveled to Mexico multiple times with no issues. I dont normally complain and I never said a thing to the staff as I figured it was pointless. We did make many friends at the pool comparing how sick everyone was. Stay away from the mall, as they practically grab you, drag you in and abuse you. My kids were begging to just go home. I will never return to this resort and I sure hope they change the food!! Oh yeah, the entertainment was horrible also. I hope this can save anyone else from what we just went through.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank oldgoat1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Resident_Mgr_Asst, General Manager at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2012

Dear oldgoat1966,

First of all, we would like to thank you for your time to write your comment about your vacation experience. On behalf of the Secrets Royal Beach please accept our most sincere apologies.
We are very concerned to learn, that your family suffered and is still suffering from stomach disorders. We definitely did not intent to ruin the precious holiday of you and your family. We are continuously looking to offer our best service and facilities to all our guests and it is a shame that we were not able to full fill and surpass your expectations.
We are very sorry that you had to suffer and still are under this discomfort, nevertheless we would like to mention that there are other facts that can influence stomach disorders and can strongly affect our bodies, please see an example of common causes:

 Stress caused by the flight hours can affect the organism, as well the increase or decrease pressure on the flights. Every human body reacts in different way.
 Different weather conditions, like higher temperature and humidity, which increases the possibility of dehydration.
 Different spices used in the preparation and cooking of our meals and drinks, which you are not used to in your diary diet.
 Increasing the consumption of food or drinks per day, or the mixing of both can also be a cause of stomach disorders.
 Swimming without resting for the proper time to digest the food or drinks.
 Lack of hygienic methods, as it is pretty common to forget to clean the hands before eating something, when you are on holiday.
 Even the purified and bottled water contains different amount of salt and minerals and depending on this, it can cause different reaction, depending on the body sensitiveness.
 Mostly in all the touristic areas around the world, were people from different countries meet, it might happen, that once in a while small outbreaks of diseases like flue, diarrhea, vomit, etc. occur. This is due to the different bacterials of each part of the world. For example does every part of the world have their own flue bacterial, if we all come together, these bacterials will be spread.
 Last but not least, ever human being has its own bacterial defense for fighting against illnesses, however once the body is weak they merge and can cause illnesses.

We deeply apologize for the inconvenience caused by humidity in the rooms. This is attributable to the weather conditions we have in the rainy season in our country. Because of the heavy rain falls we have had recently, the humidity was increased. Regarding the bugs problem we already reinforce the usage of specialized chemicals to avoid the proliferation of them during the rainy season and it works pretty well.
Please allow us to explain the shortage of towels and chairs. We accommodate a lot of guests everyday at our hotel and during the dates that you stayed with us was the peak season. We would like to inform you, that we have already increased our beach towel and chair inventory.
We do apologize for the slow Maintenance, Room service, lacking Housekeeping Service. As well we are very sorry, that our entertainment program did not suit your taste. We appreciate all your comments, because you can be sure, that we will use them as an opportunity area to improve!

Again, receive the deepest apologizes from our side and please do not hesitate to contact us via our email address, as we take your annotation very serious and we do not intent to lose you as a valued customer.
Thank you.
Yours sincerely,

Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
Av. Alemania S/N, El Cortecito, Bavaro Beach
Prov. La Altagracia, República Dominicana
cescribano@secretsresorts.com

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Reviewed July 26, 2011

We arrived at the Punta Cana Airport on Monday and had little problems there. There was a line, but we moved quickly. They will collect $10 from you for a "tourist card", but it's like an entry fee to the country. We booked through Apple Vacations and had no problems with them. We found the Apple desk and they whisked us off to the hotel.

We arrived at the hotel after 3pm and our room was not ready. We walked down to the grill on the beach and when we returned from lunch our room was still not ready. We sat there for another 10 minutes and the lady at the desk said give it another 10 minutes. After about 15 minutes we decided to head to our room, which was STILL not ready!

That night, after a long day of travel we went to bed early, but were woken at 10pm by a maid walking into our room!

Other than that we had little problem with the maids. They will knock and enter on a do not disturb sign! They came and quickly cleaned our room. They came once to clean in the morning, once to fill the mini fridge with soda, beer and banana chips. Then they came between 8-10pm for turn down service- turn down the sheets, new towels, floor mats by the sides of the bed with pillows and Hershey kisses.

When we arrived on Monday the Unlimited concierge people spoke to us about coupons, which I thought was a nice perk. However, it was not. We spoke with Jansen who seemed very nice at first. He asked us to come back on Tuesday. All morning Tuesday the Unlimited concierge people asked us if we'd spoken with Jansen. When we finally did speak with him he wanted us to come to a 90 minute meeting to learn how to book the room with the hotel itself. I told him I did not want to go to the meeting because I was on honeymoon with my new husband and wanted to relax. He then tried to persuade me to come to the meeting. Why didn't I want to help him out? Couldn't I just spare a few minutes to help him? The reward of going to the meeting was a 2 night stay for free. I insisted that I did not want to attend, but he kept pushing until I walked away. He also decided to get his buddy coworker in on it saying why I wouldn't help him out. That was a big disappointment to our vacation. We were on vacation and hoping to relax not be hounded by a high pressure sale!

The food is good, but the husband came down with some bad stomach problems. I'm normally am the one with a very sensitive stomach, but was fine while there. I really liked the buffet at Secrets. We also ate at NOW Larimar at the Italian and Asian restaurants, which were great. We went around 6:30 and had no problems. We also ate at the Seaside grille place inside the Secret buffet, which was also good.

We ordered room service one day when the husband wasn't feeling well. It came quickly, which was surprising. They do run on island time- slow! We had a turkey club sandwich with fries and apple pie, which was really good.

We hung out by the hotel mostly. The beach was pretty gross! They had seaweed all over the beach and in the water. Husband swam out toward the buoys (separates the swimming area and the boating area- don't go past the buoys) and said the water still had lots of seaweed and came out the ocean with it on him. I have found cleaner beaches in Maryland!

We also walked up the beach to the flea markets...our mistake! Don't do it! Trust me the stuff they're selling is pretty crappy and they are high sale pressures! As soon as you're walking along the beach past the hotel they are on you. We went to one store and the men argued over who took care of us. They asked why we didn't buy anything. It made me a little nervous as there were about 5 men angry that we didn't buy anything.

The pool at the hotel was really nice. If you're going bring a raft with you. You will want one. We spent most of the time there. Make sure you reserve chairs at 8am or you won't have one. There could be more chairs there! Also make sure you wear sunscreen. It's true the Caribbean sun will burn you!

I think that's it. If you have any questions please let me know.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank jnbeck125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Resident_Mgr_Asst, General Manager at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2012

Dear Secrets Royal Beach Valued Guest,

Thank you for your time and effort writing a review about your vacation experience at our beautiful Resort Secrets Royal Beach.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconveniences you have encountered during your stay.

We regret not being able to meet your expectations. We take every comment serious and your points of criticism are beneficial suggestions to us to improve the service quality to our valued guests like you.

Thank you again for your genuine feedback.

It will be a great pleasure to be able to serve you again in the future as one of our precious guests.

Respectfully,

Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Av. Alemania S/N , El Cortecito, Bávaro Beach
Provincia La Altagracia
Republica Dominicana

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Additional Information about 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:
#3 Green Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#7 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#9 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#11 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $299 - $659 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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Secrets Royal Beach Hotel Punta Cana

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