My husband and I booked our trip through Apple Vacations and were pleased with the entire experience. The staff was exceptionally friendly. We felt pampered and very relaxed.
BEACH - the beach is both wide and deep. There are no seashells to watch our for,but you do have to avoid seaweed (we often saw crews picking up and removing the seaweed). If you want a lounge chair on the beach with a table and shade umbrella, you have to put your towel or bag down between 7-8 a.m. to reserve your spot). We noticed the same thing at the pool. You can walk quite a ways past other resorts along the beach. At the end of the resort row along either end, expect to be hit with requests to see shops (one person invited us to the "Dominican Wal-mart"). We found the sellers less pushy than in some other places, yet still persistent. Just don't be afraid to say "thank you, but not today." There really is no snorkeling right off the beach, but you will be asked if you want to buy a snorkel tour, go parasailing, etc.
POOL - The swim up bar gets quite busy in the afternoon. Staff are friendly and always working hard. They offer a drink of the day which is fun to try. We were often without cash (as this is an all-inclusive resort), but noticed quite a few people tipping the waiters on the beach and by the pool. However, we never felt pressured by the servers for a tip. We loved the "Lazy River" layout of the pool. Just like the lounge chair, people tended to "claim" water rafts in the early a.m. We just asked to borrow a few in the afternoon for our "twice go-round" and never had a problem... it is a little annoying though.
ROOM - the room was quite large and our king bed was comfortable. They provide robes and slippers. There is a jacuzzi tub on the balcony (we were on the 2nd floor). They provide a small coffee maker in the room as well as a small fridge they keep stocked with some beer, sodas and water. Room service (limited menu) is provided 24 hours. We had trouble with our TV not working, but the problem was quickly resolved. Same thing with the stopper for our tub. While the room was nice, this is the Carribean, so don't expect 5-star American luxury.
FOOD - We found the buffet quite nice. If you request to be seated outside, you'll get a beautiful view of the ocean. There are servers everywhere quickly refilling coffee, oj, etc. They serve filtered water at the resturants We ate our meals at a different restaurant each night. Secrets guests are allowed to go to all the restaurants at the neighboring NOW Larimar resort (just a short walk down a hallway). In general, the food was good, but not spectacular. Our favorite was the French restaurant - note the men must wear closed shoes, no sandals and they are quite particular about this. Other resaurants seemed more lax in the their dress code standards. The Italian restaurant (go to the NOW lobby and they will take you there by golf cart) had a wonderful appetizer buffet. We also enjoyed an afternoon cappucino at the bar just outside the lobby. Delish!
INTERNET - I was worried about being able to contact home during our trip, but we bought an Internet plan that allowed us to Facetime with our kids. It was $25 for 25 hours of time. As long as you log out each time you are done using the Internet, this will probably last you an entire week. If you are spending more time than that on the Internet, you need to dump the iPad and remember that you are supposed to be on vacation!
ENTERTAINMENT - We did not view much of the nightly entertainment, but what we did see (and hear from our room at night) was mediocre. We really didn't mind as we weren't really interested in seeing a lot of shows. Our room was closer to the lobby and you could hear the music until it ended at about 10 p.m. each night. There is also entertainment on the NOW side as well as a casino, bowling alley and night cllub. The daytime beach staff were fun for 10 a.m. beach stretching, dancing lessons, etc. Typcial resort stuff.
The workout room is on the NOW side of the resort. It's clean, but small. I think 3-4 treadmills, some free weights, an exercise bike, some other equipment. The air was not very strong in the room and when it was busy, could get quite hot. I would have liked a larger facility.
TIMESHARE - be aware that near the lobby you will be asked to attend a timeshare presentation. We knew to expect this up front and politely declined. They left us alone after that.
Overall, I'd definitely recommend this resort for an adults-only getaway and would love to go back for a visit myself!
- 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