My husband and I stayed at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana from July 9th-the 18th to celebrate our first anniversary and we were EXTREMELY disappointed. This resort did not meet our expectations whatsoever. We stayed at Secrets Maroma Beach in Mexico last year for our honeymoon and we had an AMAZING experience, so we expected that this resort in DR would be just as great and boy were we wrong!
After arriving at the airport, we had to wait in the hot sun for our transportation. Amstar,the transport company that Secrets uses, was supposed to be there waiting for us and instead we had to stand and melt while we waited about 45 minutes for them. When you book your trip with Secrets, the transportation to and from the airport is already included and I was not happy that I payed for services that were unstatisfactory, such as my transportation not being at the airport waiting for me. Upon our arrival at the resort, we checked in and again, we had to wait because the resort messed up and set us up in a room with two full beds instead of the king bed that we booked. The staff at the front desk was not at all welcoming. As soon as we finished checking in, a representative from the Unlimited Vacation Club "hunted" us down. These people are like vultures! If you are approached by them, DO NOT go to their stupid presentation! It is most definitely not worth your precious vacation time. They offer you a 90 minute presentation to find out about their vacation club, which is basically similar to a presentation that you go to for a timeshare. The vacation club is a club that you pay $19,000 for to receive 25% discount when you vacation only at the 28 Secrets affiliated resorts. It is a load of garbage. They offer you a $100 spa certificate as a compensation for going to the presentation, which I found out excludes any salon services (manicures $35, pedicures $39, facials) and any services that are under $100 dollars (25 minute massage $85). Basically, they offer the $100 certificate to make more business, because all services are $150-$300, so they give you $100 so that you spend between $50- and $200 at their spa. It is not about making you happy, it is about them making money. The presentation which was supposed to be 90 minutes was 4 hours!!!!!!!! It took up our entire morning and the beginning of our afternoon, which we should've been spending by the pool or at the beach. To make matters worse, the man who took us on this presentation was a total sneak. He offered us an excursion for almost half the price that Amstar offers it. We went for it and we shortly found out that it was a scam. He told us he booked us for a Sunday and we shortly found out through Amstar that those excursions can not be scheduled on Sundays. My husband stomped over to that man's office and asked for our money back. He tried to make up a story about the money not being refundable and my husband went off on him until he gave it back to us.
Our room was mediocre and smelled very humid. The bedding smelled 10X worse. They smelled as if they were washed and not dried in a drier. They were disgustingly humid smelling. We called housekeeping and asked for them to be changed and they took care of it. When we returned to the room and smelled the sheets, they smelled the same exact way. Disgusting! We had to deal with that gross smell for 9 nights. Housekeeping did keep our room clean on a daily basis. One night we came back from a show, and as soon as we turned the lights on, there were cockroaches ALL OVER the mini bar!!!!! I was horrified and called the concierge immediately. They had to come and fumigate the next day. Even after they fumigated, the cockroaches came back the next night. They had to re-fumigate. Horrible. No too happy about our room and all of its problems.
The resort itself was very small. It had one pool with a swim-up bar (freshco) and a walk up bar (barracuda), there was also a lazy river and swim up pool for swim up rooms only. The staff at the pool bars are great. Aneudy and Angel were amazing. They were very cheerful and always met our expectations. They were a lot of fun and would bend backwards for you. There were not a lot of chairs around the pool area, so every morning before breakfast, we had to go "claim" our chairs before they were taken.
The resort only had three restaurants. A buffet: La Riviera, a steakhouse: Seaside Grill and a seafood restaurant: Oceana. The food is not great at any of the restaurants. The buffet offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and every day they change the theme (American, Dominican, Asian, Italian, French etc.) Oceana is pretty good. The food is the best of the three restaurants and the service is great. We loved Alexander, a waiter we had for 2 of our visits and Santo, the wine expert for all of the restaurants. Seaside Grill is horrible. It is a steakhouse, yet they didn't know how to properly cook steak. To make matters worse, on our last night at the hotel, yesterday night, my husband found a long hair in his shrimp cocktail. Soooooo disgusting! Terrible experience. Beware: If you are a man and do not bring long pants and closed shoes, you will not be able to dine at either Seaside Grill or Oceana. My husband had to wear his one pair of jeans every single night for dinner, which is completely ridiculous being that these restaurants aren't even glamourous. They demand a specific dress code and they do not even meet any standards of their own. There are other restaurants at NOW, the resort next door, which is affiliated with Secrets, but the food is terrible and the wait is ridiculous (2 hours if you go the restaurant after 7 and want to get in).
The beach is pretty and peaceful. There is also a bar by the beach and a barefoot grill, where you can walk right up at lunch time and grab a bite. The chicken and hamburgers at the barefoot grill are delish. The beach has A LOT of seaweed and makes swimming in the water not so refreshing and peaceful.
There is NOTHING to do at Secrets at night. There is live music every night at the plaza, and aside from that you have to walk over to crazy, loud and children filled NOW for entertainment. NOW is right next door, as I mentioned before, and Secrets guests may visit the resort and use all of their amenities. If you are looking for a quiet and romantic vacation, now is not for you. It is a family resort and it is loud and crazy 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Restaurants are full of people, the plaza is always packed, the pool looked like a sea of fish, people couldn't even move around! The entertainment team seems to try and "entertain" guests, but the majority of their night shows were not great. One of the shows, which seemed the most interesting "Circus of Dreams" was cancelled 5 minutes before it started and they had to scramble to make up something else to entertain the crowd with. Their attempt was an adult game between couples (mind you, the audience is FULL of children of all ages) which consisted of the couples popping balloons in different sex positions!!!!!! I was horrified!!!!! If i was a parent and my child was in the audience, I would have been outraged! If you call yourself a "Family" resort, then your shows should be appropriate for an audience that consists of adults and children. Now is crap, excuse my language. From the staff that treats you like garbage, to the horrible food and the mediocre entertainment. Secrets claims to play movies on the beach every night at 9pm and every night we walked over to watch the movie and no movie was playing. When I approached Speedy from the entertainment team he said that the projector was broken and that they were in the process of fixing it. I was there for 9 full days and never once saw a movie on the beach.
In conclusion, would I recommend this destination to anyone? Absolutely not! ESPECIALLY to any couples who are going on their honeymoon or anniversary celebration. Please do not vacation at this resort, you will certainly be dissatisfied and disappointed. For a wonderful honeymoon and/or romantic experience full of luxury, Secrets Maroma Beach in Riviera Maya Mexico is my highest recommendation!
- 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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- Also Known As:
- Secrets Royal Beach Hotel Punta Cana