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“No concierge, no service!”

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The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real
Ranked #3 of 114 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed April 20, 2011

Day four and we have just learned that we were supposed to have been assigned a personal concierge. We have been given the run around unsuccessfully trying to make dinner reservations anywhere. We wasted so much time on the phone and standing in line. All to no avail.

Totally disorganized place. Rooms were supposed to be ready at 3 for check-in and we sat around 'til 5:30 being repeatedly told 15 minutes more. That set the tone.

In this exclusive, luxury resort, we have been given misinformation or no information at all. It has been so frustrating.

If you can go with the flow and forgo all specialty restaurants, not try to take any off property excursions, this beautiful, but over-priced place might be just the place for you. As an American Express Platinum Card holder we made our reservations through AMEX Travel . If the offer sounds too good to be true it probably is. Our guaranteed, automatic upgrade didn't materialize. We were Told that upgrades were based on availability. They photocopied my paperwork showing the guaranteed upgrade, but so whiat?

Oh, did I mention that if you want to take a shower in the afternoon you'll do so in cold water?

We also just learned that there are shows here every night. Something else we
know nothing about.

Sent an email to AMEX. Their mailbox was full! No help there

If you come to The Reserve, don't leave Reception until you have been introduced to your personal concierge, given a tour of the property and made dinner reservations for your entire stay!

Otherwise you'll have an extremely frustrating time.

The food is good, the rooms beautiful, and service nonexistent.

  • Stayed: April 2011
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1  Thank DaFlashers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,245 - 5,251 of 7,678 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2011

This place is great - opulent, lush surroundings, all staff pleasent and friendy (no matter what the job, everyone looks in your eye and says hola as they pass) we thought they must be trained within an inch of their lives as they were all helpful. Reception was a cinch - but of course that depends on how many others are checking in at the time. The "English problem" - it seemed the lower level the less English - like the house keepers. Not a surprise. [So when we had a mix up about putting up the sofa bed during the day and setting it up again at night we spoke to the manager. Not a big issue. ] We didn't eat at buffets except once ate at the Gabi Beach lunch buffet (steamed shrimp) - and the Gabi for breakfast buffets - which was great every day. Otherwise we ate at Gabi (grilled lobster over mashed potatos) the Vendi - grouper, Passions - grouper and the one at the Reserv reception - grouper again. Every meal perfect (except for the rolls - skip them always). My friends got steak at Passions and one sent it back and they both decided it was flank steak. Don't get steak - stick with seafood ! Appetizers all pretty and tasty. Passions our least favorite restaurant. We always made reservations ahead of time - just be sure to check what is going on - when we went back to Gabi for lobster again they were having a mexican buffet. If you will eat at 845 or later you have no prob getting seats ever.
We took the free snorkling trip - one hour and it was perfect. We went to the martini bar (suggested by the bar tender at the casino) and he did the fire on the bar for us. We liked the casino - slots and roulette only - the $10 min blackjack has men playing for 50 a hand and I didn't want to get in middle of that. One friend lost her slot %, one won jackpot twice (500) and I came back with 75. Not bad for a tiny place. Beach had seaweed which they clean up every morning - not a problem. Pools were wonderful with many secluded areas to lounge in. Glad to bring me pina coladas with a side of Malibu rum and pineapple juice. At the reserve pool area by our room the server brought us our towels, burgers and beers and water and checked back repeatedly. Yes we gave him a 5 for the afternoon. We tipped the guy who brought us coffee in the AM and bottles of wine in the PM. So - everything was perfect for us - got rides to and from where ever we went, the shows over in the hotel area were good. Shower and the jacuzzi on the balcony were wonderful. Robes and slippers every day. All in all a great place and good time. But - at a price. And we saw them tossing people out of the Reserve Area of the beach when they didn't have the purple bracelet - nice to see if you know what I mean. Oh and we took a cab into Plaza Baravo to buy souveniers to spread our $ around although the did bring vendors in one evening.

Room Tip: no elevators - so ask for low floor
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank lrmdell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2011

When we booked our vacation at the Reserve, we were under the impression that our room included a family concierge. We were looking forward to this trip and expecting a high quality service. While the family next to us who were checking in were ushered off for a "family check-in" we were told that our room did not come with a family concierge and would not be ready until 3 pm (normal check in time). We were told to have lunch and come back and our room will likely be ready. We came back and sat and waited with two restless young children until 4:30 until someone came and felt sorry for us and gave us a different room. From that moment on, I felt we had no service at all at this hotel and were treated like second class citizens b/c we did not have a family concierge. The only time we could get reservations for dinner was at 9:30, mind you my children go to sleep at 7:30 pm. I spent hours trying to get an earlier dinner reservation to accommodate my family and although the concierge was nice she just looked at me and told me there was nothing she could do. Frankly, I think the restaurants were not full and I don't really understand what the problem was in seating our family earlier. She told me that she would get me an earlier reservation for the next night, mind you, this reservation was apparently never put in the system. Make sure you get the slips of paper with your reservation time on them.

An additional class distinction emerged at the beach. We came early to the beach with our family and were told we couldn't sit close to the water because the seats were reserved. The family concierge reserves the spots closest to the water for their families. Additionally, when those families arrived, we watched the men working the beach to clean off their chairs, bring them towels and wrap the chairs for these families none of which happened for us.

The grounds and beach were beautiful. The grounds are well maintained and the staff was friendly (just not helpful). The drinks were good and food was as expected from previous reviewers.

I liked our modern suite but found it to be a bit small. The suite seemed clean but I expected turn down service which we only received on our first night.

The kid zone was really nice and had great accommodations for the children. For the older children there was a large screen tv and lots of play stations and computers as well as scheduled outdoor activities. Our kids used the facilities without us for a few hours and enjoyed it.

Bottom line, this is a beautiful hotel, but you must be comfortable with the class distinctions imposed by the hotel. Make sure you have a family concierge, otherwise expect no service at all. We were looking forward to this vacation for a long time and although we had a great time, I felt the lack of service we experienced while watching others receive what we expected put a bit of a damper on our time at the Reserve.

Room Tip: Get a suite with a family concierge
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank isnr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2011

My wife and I were looking for an up-scale all-inclusive couples, adults-only resort in Punta Cana to spend five days relaxing, watersports and entertainment. We were recommended to this property by a Dominican travel agency. When we arrived we were thrilled with how large, beautiful and seemingly well-layed-out the property was. we soon learned that "all that glitters isn't gold". While thethird floor room we had in the Reserve was large and had a bedroom, sitting area, double bathroom with oversized jacuzzi tub, large patio with jacuzzi and a great view of the property and waterscape, we soon learned that there was no elevator. The Reserve was set-apart from the main property but you needed to walk a 10 minute walk to get there or try to catch a golf cart that had no set schedule. Most of the restaurants and entertainment were at the other property so whatever "exclusivity" the Reserve advertized was largely illusory. we soon learned that the properties were somehow integrated with the Melia Vacation club and that it seemed that most vacation club guests had access to the same facilities for which we were paying premium prices. The service overall was confusing and disapointing. The staff was pleasant but seemed to be looking for tips - there was no real sincerity and no one was in a particular hurry or acted like they wanted to provide good service. At the Reserve area of the beach, the beach boys however were very attentive and engaging. The food was what you might expect to have with a "vacation club" all-inclusive concept - very unmemorable and generally dissapointing. The quality, variety and menue choices were weak and not very appetizing. The bartenders had limited skills and the drinks were also unimaginative and basic. Even a simple Pina Colada or bahama Mamma were virtually undrinkable because of being overly sweet. The spa was great - very well designed and a genuinly pleasing experience and value. The entertainment and watersports, however were not well integrated and were generally not worth the effort . The ultimate annoyance was having to be solicited by the vacation club salespeople at the resort.

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

We booked The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real for Mar 2-9, 2011. We wanted this more secluded and family oriented resort as we were travelling with a 1y and 4y old. Customs at the airport on arrival was very efficient. We had a private van to drive us to the resort. Facilities were clean, nice, and relatively modern. Unfortunately, at the time of check in, there was a "problem".

As other reviews already stated, management decided to sell out to Dish Network and not honor any of the reservations from us common folk. On Mar 7, all travellers were relocated to the main resort. They offered return vouchers for a later date (initially 2days and then increased to 4 days), but why would we want to go back? We would not have booked our vacation if we knew there would be this disruption - management decided to hide this from all travel agents and online bookings. They offered excursions, which were usually with our small children. Eventually, they gave us some spa certificates.

At least during our stay at the Reserve, our room was very nice, clean, and well air conditioned, with a hottub on our balcony. The kids pool, where we spent most of our time, was perfect for small children. There was no beach - one had to take a golf cart to the main resort for the beach. Choice of restaurants on the Reserve itself was limited: buffet was limited, Aqua Restaurant had very nice presentation and acceptable tasting food, Teppanyaki restaurant was mediocre. Overall, food was on the salty side. The spa was very nice - in particular the water treatment area.

Our transfer over to the main resort was supposed to be "no hassle". It was a total gong show. Communication between The Reserve and Palma Real was horrible - nobody could figure out where our luggage was. We had to check out of the Reserve by Noon, but would not have a room at Palma Real until 3PM - luckily we had the same "level" of room. The main resort was very big - room was not as modern but had a fullsized kitchen - too bad they didn't stock the fridge (one beer, one or two bottles of water), and did not have our own hottub. It was much more crowded - around the pool, on the beach, in the restaurants, essentially everywhere.

Overall, if we didn't have the overbooking issue, our stay at the Reserve would have been a great holiday - would rate it a 4 and recommend it to a friend. Too bad management of Paradisus didn't care about disrupting their customers' holidays to get big dollars from corporate bookings. Beware when you book!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank YoungCanadianFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2011

We had a fantastic experience at the Paradisus Palma Real -- it feels brand spanking new, the staff is helpful, the suites are huge and nicer than most people's homes and the entire atmosphere feels like a (family friendly) spa.

My two year son especially loved the "Klidz Club" (as he called the Kids Club) and wanted to go there for a few hours each day, which gave my wife and I great chance to spend time in the pool relaxing. It is a huge advantage of the Reserve that they take kids who are younger... I think the main resort only allows kids who are older than 5 years old, which would have made our trip entirely different. He loved Claudio, Jendhaly, Natali, Ynes and Evelyn and would ask to go see "the ladies" at the Klidz Club every day.

We got a babysitter every night (very nice, not too expensive) and sampled a bunch of restaurants. Most were great, a few were just okay. The lunch at the Reserve is good, but I thought the dinners at the Reserve weren't as good as what you could get at the main resort after a quick ride on the golf cart.

One down note: on the beach, the water events tour company -- Spaquatic -- associated with the hotel sold us on a trip to a local petting zoo and it was a very bad experience -- they told us it was a 10 minute ride which was great with a young child, but not that they stopped at 15 other hotels before finally showing up at the zoo an hour later. Skip the bus and take a $10 taxi there instead and pay less by getting a ticket directly from the zoo itself once you arrive. Also, skip swimming with the dophins there... the pool looked kind of nasty and there are other options to swim with the dolphins out in the ocean instead.

Overall, I'd highly recommend The Reserve and plan to go back again as soon as possible.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank midas75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2011

We are just now returning from the worst experience we ever had traveling to Sol Melia Resorts
We booked our trip with American Express Travel, going to the reserve at Palma real from the 13th of March until The 20th of March.

We arrived at the hotel  at 7pm where we were not even allowed to leave the bus, we were sent to the Paradisus at Palma Real where they said my room was ready, upon expressing that we were taken to the wrong resort, the management at the royal service (Marina) called us in and explained that the Reserve was overbooked for the 13th and that we needed to stay at Paradisus until the next day and that they would make it up by giving us complimentary spa, tours etc, we were also told that our concierge (Cesar) would take care of all the reservations for us, so we did not bother calling any of the tours we wanted to schedule.

Tours were not scheduled on the date and time requested causing extra complication and dinner cancellations to accommodate the last minute scheduling. We also were not extended the complimentary tour for our family as promised so we ended up paying for three of the four tours at a more expensive price then we could have scheduled and also wasted a whole day of back and forth between concierge management and tour to finally not go on the date and time we wanted.  Spa reservations that we were PAYING for were cancelled without notice. Dinner reservations for 8:00pm were not served until 9:30 at the exclusive Gabi club and the total lack of communication made us miss the only circus show offered which our children were looking forward to.  We were told No more then we are comfortable hearing for such an "exclusive" resort as we thought we were going to. When we had to move to our new room where we had initially booked, NO check in was done, NO tour, NO written information of dinner reservations or shows.  We lost half a day for our "move" and lost iPad chargers and gold earrings in the process.  The kids club was nice but again did not provide information such as the only day our children did not participate was the day the club went to Manatee Park. Needless to say when we checked out we were being greeted with legal release documents to sign which we declined this was the Final impression of the resort before heading home.  A total lack of respect or consideration for the guests which we did not feel like guests. On a liter note even though management was horrible and inattentive,  the staff at the reserve pool was courteous and tried their hardest to provide adequate service often calling management and complaining of the lack of napkins or wine. Great people but absolutely NO active training or management is seen in the resort. A proper training would be also necessary as many couples complained of the lack of service as stations are not assigned to the servers and they don't know who has not been served, Bad Management and complaints are not valued as an avenue of betterment but guests are made to feel like a nuisance.  We have gone to Melia Caribe Tropical Royal Service for 4 years now and had loved every minute of it and wanted to visit another resort before purchasing the vacation club, this experience was horrible. We feel more stressed leaving our vacation then when we left home.  A definite NEVER AGAIN!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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18  Thank Aricetti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real

Address: Playa de Bavaro, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 Green Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $374 - $908 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real 5*
Number of rooms: 232
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A luxurious experience can only be achieved with services and facilities designed to provide guests with the highest possible degree of exclusivity and personalized service in a luxury all-inclusive resort. ... more   less 
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The Reserve At Paradisus Palma Real Hotel Punta Cana

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