Visited this resort with my husband and another couple (family). We had a great time! We originally booked the NH Real Arena and then upgraded for $20/night/person to the adult-side Royal Beach. We had booked the Arena through a wholesale online website, which resulted in a cost of $252/person total for 4 nights - a great deal. The additional $20/night/person to upgrade was well worth it. The upgrade allowed for better alcohol selections, access to all the amenities on the adult (and Arena) side, and access to two additional restaurants, which we found to be far superior to the others on the Arena side which we also had access to. Also, the main dining area (buffet) on the adult side was far better than the Arena side. Selections were a bit more sophisticated and the general dining area was much nicer. It was always available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
For those that don't know, the Arena and the Royal are essentially the same resort, both owned by the NH Real brand. The NH Royal caters exclusively to adults, whereas its Arena half is more oriented towards large groups, families, and kids. Both properties are very well maintained and offer very modern amenities. The entire resort itself in terms of landscaping, grounds, pools, lounges, beach chairs, etc. is very new, modern and contemporary, and very well maintained. It was nice to see everything very clean and the resort staff definitely takes pride in keeping everything in good condition.
We stayed from Saturday to Wednesday over Memorial Day weekend. The resort was relatively empty, but we found a significant Canadian and German population visiting the resort. The rooms are very spacious - very contemporary, and spotless. We had no complaints. My husband and I are frequent travelers and have stayed at some very nice places and this place is definitely up there. The bathrooms are fully equipped, beautiful vanities, large showers (no tubs), private toilet rooms. We found the complimentary toiletries to be very nice, robes are provided in the room, and extra towels were brought promptly. There was a hot tub on our veranda, but we did not use it.
Warning - it gets very, very hot in the DR. And the sun is exceptionally strong. We highly recommend lots of sunscreen. We do not have fair skin and we tend to tan very well, but it was pretty beyond normal here. On a related note, it should also be added that we had a very comfortable room, air-conditioning wise, and never had any problems. Again, everything is fairly new and well maintained. So, while it is hot and sometimes uncomfortably humid, there are good fallbacks (i.e. your air conditioned room).
The offerings are superb - between the restaurants, room service, and mini-bar. We found everything to be in abundance and good quality. Our only complaint, having gotten a bit sick towards the end of our trip, is that we found it hard for the resort to keep some of the food cold. In the buffet, we often found some of the desserts to be melting and some of the cheeses mushy...despite the ice beds and the resort's attempt to keep everything as cold as possible, it still appears that food safety is an issue.
The staff is very friendly. Our only incident was upon arrival where we found it hard to find someone who spoke English well enough to understand some of our questions and requests. Also - make your dinner reservations as soon as you get there. For some reason, we had a really hard time booking dinner for the four nights we were there. They kept giving us limited openings/timeslots and then we'd go to the restaurants and they'd be somewhat empty. We reasoned that they had limited staff and that they could only offer so many reservations. We found this a little concerning, especially since we didn't get to eat at some of the restaurants we had initially requested, but we got through it.
The beach is beautiful - immediately accessible off the resort. Lots of beach chairs, umbrellas, cabanas, etc. On the adult side, there is a spa; on the family side, there is a booth offering all sorts of excursions and water sport activities. Be weary of the guys on the beach asking you to visit their souvenir shops. Security does a good job of keeping these folks at bay and they don't approach you as you are sitting on the beach; however, if you do decide to walk off the resort and down the beach, they tend to harass you as you walk by. Not a serious concern, more annoying than anything else. The water is very warm, very clear. Beach itself is clean and well-maintained. There is no water skiing available on Royal beach - I presume because of coral and/or space safety, but there are a bunch of other water activities available.
Items at the gift shop are expensive - we had our sunscreen confiscated at the airport, and we had to pay a premium for it at the gift shop. Even other gift items are pretty expensive. We did not leave the resort, but heard that there is a shopping center nearby. Other items - we enjoyed the nightly entertainment that happens over on the Arena side. One night there was a talent show, another was karoake, another was a fire show, which was really good. Also, a couple's trivia/game night was also good. On the adult side, there is less nightly entertainment and more just music and dancing in the main outdoor atrium area, but it's pretty dead even with that.
I would definitely revisit this place again. I have recommended it to all my friends and family.
- 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