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“This is five star?”

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Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
Ranked #7 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Toronto
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“This is five star?”
Reviewed November 23, 2013

Read lots of reviews before deciding to stay at this resort. Seemed impressive.

Maybe we had a bad experience but so much went wrong, I find it hard to believe it was just us.

We got to the resort fine and on time. We were taken to the "Preferred" area which is a separate check in area in the Adults Only section. We get there and our room isn't ready...like they didn't know we were coming. Hot and sweaty, we were told it would be ready in five. I assumed that meant five minutes. 25 minutes later we were told the front door to the room isn't working. It doesn't close or open properly. So we waited in the room while someone tried fixing it. He seemed to be having trouble so I went to ask for another room. Hotel staff said there was nothing else at this time, but one would be ready at 8pm. It was 4pm at the time.

So we waited, now hungry and sweaty. 45 minutes go by while he's fixing the door, so I kick him out deciding we can shower and go eat while they finish fixing the door. The door they couldn't possibly know didn't work until now because apparently housekeeping teleports into the room? My girlfriend was about to shower when I realized the patio door doesn't lock. So we'd be unable to leave the room to eat.

Ok. I'll order room service and then inform them of the other door not working. No one answers when I call. I call again. No answer. Two hours have now gone by, we haven't been able to do anything but wait. We paid more for an earlier flight so we could get some sun and time on the beach before sunset. Nope. Nice way to spend your Anniversary at a five star resort.

I leave for the reception desk after trying a third time to call room service. I'm trying not to lose my temper and tell her we're hungry, we're sweaty, we can't leave the room because the doors don't work and it's our Anniversary. Are we at the right resort? Secrets? Five star? What?

All of a sudden there's another room! Wow, where did that come from? And it's on the top floor (which is what I initially requested) instead of on the bottom floor. Also, like magic, it's ready right now. And it's an oceanview. Wow. Magic.

The new room is a "partial ocenview". If you lean over the balcony a bit, you can see the ocean...a bit. The thermostat doesn't work, the bathroom light doesn't work. Our King bed is two double beds put together. At this point we're laughing at the awefulness of this place. But we're thinking it can only get better. We're easy going people. We're not rich, nor are we snobby people.

We're on a special vacation celebrating both our first anniversary as well as my girlfriend's birthday. We decided to splurge on what would be our first ever "5star resort". Positive attitudes all week. Happy couple.

Room service brings the food (you know, because we can't go the buffet so far or leave because the doors haven't worked. Yay. A dry club sandwich with fries. I imagine Tim Hortons could make a better club sandwich. Not that Tim Hortons food is bad. It's edible, but does not have any qualities to make it delicious. If we weren't starving, we wouldn't have eaten them.
We finally get ready and leave to explore. It’s almost 8 by now. We’re heading to the buffet. Hopefully the food is good. It wasn’t. Selection was small. And what we ate was bland at best. Aside from the grouper. That was melt in your mouth and flavoured well.
Entertainment for the night was a musical performance by a duo who sound like their friends told them they’re really good on karaoke nights. Good singers. Nothing great. Casino’s open, we’ll check things out there.

Tiny, empty, literally three card tables and a dozen old slot machines. Positive attitudes. We sit and lose $50 with the company of one friendly gentleman in his late 60s. Crazy night right?

Club time! Empty. Kinda sad looking. Okay, we’ll call it a night and try to enjoy tomorrow.

Breakfast buffet was decent, smaller than I expected for a resort of this size. Food was okay.
We went for our meeting with our WestJet rep. He was 20 minutes late. I called to see why. He didn’t know he had to be there. 40 minutes later, a Hola tour rep shows up. He’s a rep for the WestJet rep…where’s the WestJet rep? I get the WestJet rep on the phone and we complain. Let them know we’re not happy so far and why, but we’ll make the best of it. An hour in an air-conditioned lobby on a gorgeous day. No beach or sun time yet.

The rest of our day here went in the same manner. Poor service from staff. Bland food even at the a la cartes. Our second night there we tried the Sushi restaurant, more rice than anything else in the rolls and no flavour. We left for the buffet. There’s no room at the buffet, but they can seat us in the sushi place which is attached. How embarrassing is it to leave more than half your food on your plate only to have the chef who made the sushi watch you eat food from someone else and watching you do so in his restaurant?!? No thanks. We’ll try the seafood al a carte restaurant.

More bland food and poor service. 2 hours for a three course meal. We actually complained about the appetizer to the waiter. When we got the main 15 minutes after finishing the apps, they came to ask if it was okay and we lied and said it was. Didn’t want to wait for another main for who knows how long. It was edible. Dessert was a “chocolate dome” that tasted like a magnum bar I forgot at the bottom of a freezer. 2 years ago.

At this point I probably seem like a whiner or I’m losing you. So I’ll sum it up to say we called our WestJet rep that evening since she wanted to talk to us when she had more time to talk as she was dealing with a group arriving at the airport. I ask to switch to another room, like the presidential suite! Or even switch resorts. She’ll see what she can do. The next day we’re on the beach for the full day.

Even though this Secrets is awful, we’re trying to be happy. Most of the other couples seem to have given up on that. My girlfriend and I are both noticing most couples aren’t talking with each other or with anyone else. They’re sitting there looking like bored strangers sitting close together.
We arrived on a Friday afternoon and were able to leave by Tuesday afternoon for the Majestic Elegance. Thank goddness.

Majestic Elegance, total opposite. Room was ready right away. Food was excellent. Service was excellent. Entertainment was fantastic. Couples were happy, kissing, holding hands, cuddling, laughing and so were we. Finally. We loved every moment at the Majestic Elegance. Every moment aside the ones where we paused to reflect on how crappy Secrets was.

I would not go back to this Secrets. I would not suggest to anyone that they stay here. Maybe if they got it for under a grand per person. The beach and weather were way better than what we have in Toronto in November. My girlfriend and I felt the food was better in Cuba than at the Secrets in Punta Cana. Cuban food better than Dominican food?!? 5star who? 3 star at best.

The secret is it’s all hype. This place sucks. We were happiest getting to leave for the Majestic.

Room Tip: Choose another resort.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Randy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ladera Ranch, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2013

Our stay was amazing! What we were most impressed by was the hotel staff, all very courteous, attentive and friendly. The facilities very clean, always something to do, and a wide variety of food. We had the opportunity to meet the general manager of the hotel Mr. Luis Gomez, always attentive to his staff and guests.
We were so happy with our stay at Secrets, we can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Any Room is Excellent...! ! !
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ReyBalc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
2 reviews
Reviewed November 22, 2013 via mobile

the resort was great the grounds werr very well maintained. The pool bars were very exciting and alot of fun. We loved the beach and the people were very friendly from those that work there to the other gauest.

The entertainment team was bar none, the best, most hardworking bunch I've ever seen... Karen, Akon, Fidel, Eddie Murphy, and Milky Way they all work very diligently to keep the guests entertainwd... all the time great place to go and we will go back although we won't spend the money on the ocean view next time it was just a little peek through the trees next time we'll go to swim up.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kesha R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Punta Cana
1 review
Reviewed November 22, 2013

Best honeymoon ever. So relaxing. Angel the bartender is the best!
We loved having a swim up room. The food was delicious and the staff was "excellente!" So relaxing, clean and fun. My husband and I can't wait
To go back

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Location
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Matthew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2013

We actually travelled here in April of 2012. This was my second time at an AM Resort- and I realized immediately that it wasnt going to be the last, by far! We were treated like celeberties from the moment we arrived. I admit- I have been to 8 resorts- and NEVER has the room been ready upon arrival, so I didn't expect it to be this time. Perhaps the biggest difference here, is how you get to spend the wait time, and being prepared to wait. In this case- it's all luxury. And they were prompt in notifying us when we could get in the room.

The room was nice. Large, classy, sexy. Modern. Smelled nice. (I know people have complained about musky rooms in other places)

The lazy river is fun- especially if you can get a "floatie"- you would be amazed at the number of floatie hoarders.

We enjoyed the beach. In fact the beach was where we discovered a certain level of concierge service. They don't advertise butlers here, or even concierge- but it must exist to some degree. If it doesn't- it should, as we had a couple of guys go out of there way to let us know they would take care of anything we needed while on the resort (Juan & Steve?) They even set up nice "surprise" romantic night in the room for the wife and I.

We did join the unlimited vacation club while on this trip. We turned it down previously- but when we heard the "pitch" before it made absolutely no sense, and that sales rep at that resort wasted a lot of our time trying to get it together. Here, I requested that they be concise, and to the point. I haven't regreted that move at all.

We took advantage of the sip savor and see, to check out Zoetry. It didn't take long for me to figure out that I will spend a birthday and/or an anniversery there in the future.

It's attached to Now Larimar (Fanily resort), so the amenities are plentiful. I do think they tame the drinks a tad on the family side- but the enthusiasm is there. The nightly entertainment, of course, is on the family side. It works out, because when youre ready to chill with the adults, its a quick stroll back over to Secrets.

I will likely come back for a visit, after I've had a chance to checkout other AM offereings. I do hope the others measure up. As of this writting, AM Resorts all 3 of the AM resorts (All Secrets) have been to have been memorable, and impressive.

*Take advantage of the sip, savor, see, and check oou Zoetry!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Derrick D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2013

We enjoyed 10 nights of ROYAL service and the staff made this a wonderful 20th anniversary, particularly Enrique and Martinez at the Preferred Sandbar! When we arrived we learned we had been upgraded to a Preferred Room on the top (4th Floor)! This is in a separate builing and connected to Now Larimar. There were many upgrades including a private lounge with bartender, pool, and special ala carte (menu) options for breakfast and lunch. We understand that the preferred rooms recently opened this fall which might explain a few minor hiccups involving the AC and towels. It seems they are still working out some issues involving communication between departments and with English-speaking guests. We must say that the service and royal treatment we received was excellente!!! We estimate over 80% of the guests were from Europe. The property and beach are amazingly beautiful, but overall it didn't quite meet the 5 star level of our experiences at Secrets Huatulco or an Excellence resort we had stayed at in previous years.

Room Tip: Most Preferred rooms have a limited ocean view
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank BobO1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2013

Total luxury, excellent service, food, rooms, customer service never seen before. Everyone from the arrival to the day of our departure were extremely attentive and courteous. I just can't say enough. We're looking forward to visit again in the near future and definitely advising all our friends and family to go and enjoy Secrets Royal Beach in Punta Cana:)

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MyrnaReyes
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
#4 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#7 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#7 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#7 On the Beach 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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Secrets Royal Beach Hotel Punta Cana

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