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“Great find for Families - Not as a Romantic Getaway”

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The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real
Ranked #4 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great find for Families - Not as a Romantic Getaway”
Reviewed March 20, 2013

As a Dominican living in Australia for the past 12 years, it is hard for me to review these hotels from the point of view of a western traveller, or perhaps even an American traveller. Since the beautiful weather and gorgeous beaches are for me a simple cost of entry. What to me makes a All-inclusive resort truly memorable is the Food, the Alcohol, the Entertainment and the Customer service.

But let me start off with the basics.

THE HOTEL GROUNDS.

The Reserve at Paradisus Palma real sits on a huge gated property where it shares the complex with two others hotels, the main Paradisus Palma Real and the Melia Tropical. There are large gardens and ponds that separate the three and there is a concious effort to keep each clientele to their own hotels.

Perhaps the one thing that took me by surprise was just how far away the actual hotel is from the beach. Mind you, this is something that for some people may not be an issue as it would be to others. But the fact that you had to be carted out to the beach and back became annoying really quickly. Waiting times can range from 10mins to 20 mins for a golf cart to come and take you to either the beach or the lobby.

Having been to the main hotel back in 2003 when it first opened i have to say i was a little disappointed. Back in 2003 - artists from the like of Jennifer Lopez and Marc anthony would choose the Paradissus Palma Real as their holiday destination due to its truly upper market level of service and quality. Back then we were being served Moet&Chandon, Johnny Walker Blue Label, Grey Goose Vodka and Bayleys. These days if you haven't upgraded to their Royal service you'll be sure to get their house spirits (which are just awful)

After a candid conversation with one of the employees she mentioned that there was new management and that their new policies were very different and that they were now "Cutting Corners" so save money. Unfortunately this became apparent when during my complete stay the water features and lamps in the building #50 were switched off. Same goes to the main water feature in the lobby.

After making a great effort to go and stay at these kind of hotels, the last thing you want is a feeling that they are somehow not providing you with the very best.

But its not all bad, the rooms are completely superior in the Reserve than over at the Palma Real. We stayed in a Suite with its very own kitchenette, 6 chair dining table, lounge room, outdoor area with jacuzzi and the incredibly design bathrooms. Simply amazing, tasteful and well-thoughtout.

THE STAFF

This to me is one of the most important elements of a memorable stay. The staff here truly bends over backwards for you and your families. The superb customer service exhibited by Elizabeth our family concierge was second to none. Always smiling, and always willing to make reservations for us even at restaurants where it seemed to be completely book. This charming young lady helped me and my wife feel like we were royalty.

Memory betrays me because i can't remember all their names. But the bar staff, waiters and servers at the Gabi beach have got to be some of the most friendliest most warm, hardest working people in the hotel. by the Second day, they all knew what drinks my wife wanted, how i liked my coffee, dessert suggestions everything. these guys are truly amazing.

Stay away from the Holiday Schemes "Tours" of Holiday Clubs!

The hotel is very clever in the sense that once a couple checks in a "staff member" takes you to your room and makes sure that you get all settled. He'll make sure that your bags are delivered to your room, explain the many facilities that your room has to offer, timetables of the restaurants etc, and overall explanation of everything. THEN HE'LL SAY THIS "Tomorrow we've set up a special tour of the hotel to inform you of the many different activities on offer - is lunchtime ok? it will take about 15 min." This is a trap, Do not fall for it. They will keep you there for at least 3 hours trying to sell you Holiday Club deals. They'll even offer you free massages and Spas, but if you're like me and you want peace and quiet - a sales conference room is not my idea of a holiday.

The FOOD

This was a bit of a let down. Back in 2003 when i came for the first time to the Palma Real, we had Fresh Lobster cooked right in front of us almost every day. Fresh seafood, Great Chunky NY Sirloins, and a great variey of different food. This time the variety was not there, nor was the premium cuts of meat. We had some over cooked prawns a couple of days but that was it. Even the Snack Bar - famous for fresh ongoing 24hr woodfire pizza was long gone.

We visited the restaurants - the asian was the better one of the bunch. I don't think that the "french" one is worth the $50 a head price tag - but thats just me.

The Entertaintment

Is practically non-existent. Like i mentioned before. Being Dominican is a bit of a detriment when coming to these "premium" All-Inclusive resorts. Apparently "premium" is also synonym with boring. There are no activities crew in the hotel (compared to any one of the barcelo hotels, or the riu palace hotels) Guest are often seen meandering at the bar due to the lack of activities available.

The Verdict

If you want a few days to re-kindle that passion, or to live it up like a King in the Caribbean. this is not the place for you. Perhaps, look for the Palma Real's Royal Service. But if you're a family with more than one kid looking for a place to relax and actually have people looking after your kids for you - this is the place for you.

In my case, i had a 5 month old baby which my mother agreed to look after. Making this the first time my wife and I had some "alone" time since the baby arrived. unfortunately i was looking for a bit more of indulgence out of this holiday - given our regular stressed filled lives, and i did not get that. Perhaps it was my fault for not doing my research but what can i say you live and learn.

So good hotel, foood not too bad, Bad cheap alcohol, beach not easily accessible, increidble rooms (you'll have to pay for them), Great Staff.

Room Tip: there are no lifts, for try to get something on the first floor facing the pool.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank andresphabian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rafael T, General Manager at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, responded to this review, March 21, 2013
Dear Guest,

I would like to extend you my gratitude for selecting us to celebrate your vacation, and for sharing the impressions of your recent stay.

I regret very much that we did not impress you with some of our services. I assure you, that the managers of the various departments involved have been informed of the particular observations, and that appropriate measures will be taken wherever possible.

Once again, thank you for your valuable comments. I do hope to have the pleasure to host your next stay in a near future.

Rafael Torres
Managing Director
Paradisus Resorts Punta Cana
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

My husband and I along with our 2 teenage daughters and my parents just spent a wonderful week at this beautiful resort. There is not one negative thing that any of us could possibly say after our 7 day fabulous vacation. The resort was beautiful, the rooms were spotless and some of the nicest rooms we have ever seen. We are international travellers and this resort is right at the top.

I could go on and on about all the wonderful aspects of this resort including the food and entertainment but the thing that stands out above all is the amazing staff. They were all so friendly and accommodating. They went above and beyond to make sure our stay was the best it could be. Oswaldo was our driver many times from the Reserve to the main resort who always had a smile on his face and was more than happy to take us where ever we wanted to go. Gregorio was the Bell Captain who always made sure all our transportation and luggage needs were met. Dievi was a waiter at the Hydro Grill and the Gabi Buffet. He was so pleasant and always went above and beyond to make sure each and every meal was better than the last. He is someone that we will always remember. The Hydro Grill was our favourite restaurant not only because of the amazing food but because of Dievi and his side kick Santos. All the waiters were amazing but some just stood out like Roberto De Leoin, Eusebio, Kevin and Richard. We must mention Yoquelin who was our room cleaner. She was always so very pleasant and did a wonderful job of taking care of all our needs. We had three rooms (5020, 5021, and 5022) and she took care of all of us like we were family and that is how we felt.

Lastly we have to make a special mention of the one person that we will never forget and must thank over and over again for making our holiday truly unforgettable. Ewing was our Concierge for the 7 days. Right form the first moment we met Ewing we knew he was special. He truly went above and beyond to make sure that every moment of our vacation was perfect. When you work in the service industry it is often very difficult to please everyone. It is a very difficult job and you often have to deal with difficult personalities from all over the world. Ewing takes his job very seriously. He wanted to make sure that each and every one of his guests was completely satisfied to the absolute best of his ability. He explained everything there was to know about the accommodations, the variety of food options, the entertainment and shows, the shopping areas, the excursions, the golfing and so on and so on. He greeted us daily to make sure there was nothing we were missing or that all our questions were answered and needs met. My husband and I own our own business in Canada and we would love to have 10 Ewings working for us. He is a blessing to the resort. We will return to the resort again and will request Ewing specifically as he made our vacation perfect.

Thank you so each and everyone at the Reserve. Excellent job!!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tessa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rafael T, General Manager at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, responded to this review, March 21, 2013
Dear Tessa,

Your kind and valuable words left me speechless as there is not greater satisfaction than learning that all your expectations were exceeded and that you will return in a near future.

Thank you for your kind compliments of the customer service you received from our staff. Comments such as yours serve as great motivation for all of us. I will gladly pass on your compliments to each of the members of our staff.


Kind regards,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director
Paradisus Resorts Punta Cana
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

The Paradisus Palma Real/ Reserve is a beautiful resort. The design is very modern and chique, the rooms are magnificent (all suites), the many pools and jacuzzis are very convenient, the spa is a must, the variety of restaurants is great, the entertainment was great, and the entire staff was very friendly and accommodating. We did the family concierge package which was so worth it. We got great service and attention by our concierge. He catered to all our needs. And it was a great plus for the kids. Thank you Caesar! The kidzone was very impressive, with lots to do for our kids. They really enjoyed it. We would also like to thank manager Isabel Gonzalez for being so warm and attentive to our needs. Overall, we would definitely come back to this resort.
The Gavriels

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mrcyrusgav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rafael T, General Manager at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, responded to this review, March 21, 2013
Dear Gavriel Family,

Thank you for sharing your comments with us and other travelers. It is a real pleasure to learn your stay was an amazing experience.

I hope this is the second of many other visits to this your second home, The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real.

Best regards,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director
Paradisus Resorts Punta Cana
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ottawa, canada
Level Contributor
83 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

Spent a week here in mid-March 2013 with 4 other families on a quasi-grad trip with our daughters. This was our 3rd consecutive March break at this resort - so needless to say we love it here. Everything is good - accommodation, drink, food, service, vibe, weather. Nice low key place where you can relax away from the yahoos that frequent other all-inclusive resorts. Our waiter at the Gabi restaurant was Pedro Paulino who was always attentive and smiling. The only thing the Reserve could do better is to make it easier to make reservations at the restaurants - it should be easier than they make it.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank repeteOttawa_Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rafael T, General Manager at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, responded to this review, March 21, 2013
Appreciated Family,

Thank you a lot for selecting us one more time to celebrate your yearly family break. I am happy to count with your trust at the moment of selecting a vacation destination in Punta Cana.

I highly appreciate your observation regarding our dinner reservation system. You may rest assured we are working in it.

It will be an honor to welcome you next March for another great experience.

Rafael Torres
Managing Director
Paradisus Resorts Punta Cana
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hahira, Georgia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

My college daughter and I just returned from a week of rest and relaxation at The Reserve. It was our first visit to the Dominican and our first stay at an all inclusive resort. You can opt out of the all inclusive, but Don't, much more economical to pay at the beginning of the week for the all inclusive. I can say, this resort exceeded all our expectations. We stayed in a one bedroom master suite which was gorgeous. Beautiful decor, huge jacuzzi tube and top of the line body shower. It had a separate seating area and patio that faced the pool. Each morning we walked a few steps to Gabi Club for a beautiful breakfast buffet, and you could get omelets/eggs cooked to order. You could also go there lunch/dinner. The food presentations in all the restaurants elevated it to art. There are about 6 specialty restaurants on site that you make reservations either for the week or several days at a time. We ate in several; bring a couple dressy outfits and men will need a long pair of pants to eat in "The Palazzo" and "Fuego", the only restaurant you pay separately for. Fuego was food elevated to art ! Incredible presentation, good food and wonderful service by our waiters; Nicola M. and Juan E. ! We loved trying all the restaurants, but found the Gabi Club and Gabi Beach buffets to be as good or better. They have a wonderful spa which we used, and a top rate gym with all the equipment you could want. The decor was gorgeous everywhere. The grounds were simply exquisite; coconut palms, tropical flowers, beautiful plantings everywhere, and a full staff was out every day pruning and keeping it emaculate. We spent lots of time at the pool which was a tropical paradise. You never had to be in the sun if you chose; fully covered pillowed tiki huts
were everywhere as well as soft sculpted loungers. They have a fully equipped kids area and pool which I know kids would love. You could schedule a poolside massage in the massage hut. And the incredible staff ! Our pool attendants, Luis Santana, Jose and others couldn't do enough, keeping us plied with drinks, water, towels, etc. The resort is huge and has several areas, there are continually running shuttles to take you all over and drop you off whereever. Despite its size you never feel crowded anywhere, its so spread out you feel like you're in your own little paradise. The Reserve has a private beach area, again with plenty of covered lounges and chairs and incredible wait staff like Ramon and Mikey . You literally never need to leave this resort ! We did schedule a day at "Dolphin Island" to swim with the dolphins, you are picked up and returned to the resort. During that we got a glimpse of about 5 other resorts and I didn't see anything that remotely compared to this. That was fun, and we spoke to people who went to "Manatee Beach" which was an animal park/party boat trip and they enjoyed that. As two women traveling, I never had a moments worry about safety at the resort. They have a large security presence especially around the beach to keep the hawkers on the beach away. The expansive beachfront of the resort was like what you see in a travel ad. . simply stunning. I brought a good amount of cash to tip our pool/beach people/masseuse/waiters at the end of the week. With all you can eat/drink, this place was great value as well as 5 star accomodations, food , service. You really don't need a car; you can reserve a ride ahead thru "Blue" (www.bluetps.com) or just get a taxi ($37-40) I would highly recommend "The Reserve" at Paradisus Punta Cana, and am already wanting to plan a trip back !

Room Tip: We had a bottom corner room facing the pool area, and it was quiet, and great.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hahira_GeorgiaAmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paterson, New Jersey
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Everything that you would dream of in a Resort. the service was great and the selection of restaurants were perfect for dining in the evening. the beach area had lots of chairs, towels- lot of shade and service. Transportation around the Resort was excellent - no waiting at all. The staff was at my beck and call at all times. I would like to give a special thank you to Gabriel Bobadilla and Glenys Martinez for being so attentive to our needs. I cannot wait to return to my Dream vacation. Don't forget the SPA -perfect.
Eugene & Connie Nelson- Paterson, New Jersey
.

Room Tip: try the room with private garden
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank jay connie n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rafael T, General Manager at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Dear Mr. & Ms. Paterson,

Thank you for your beautiful comments about your recent stay with us. I am glad to know your experience was a good one.

I will share your comments with Gabriel Bobadilla and Glennys. This kind of compliment serves as a great motivation to all of us.

The Reserve team await you soon at this your second home for a next dream vacation that comes true.

Rafael Torres
Managing Director
Paradisus Resorts Punta Cana
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Sinai, New York
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Property is beautiful, clean. Staff is friendly and helpful although many do not speak English well so brush up on your Spanish before your trip. Food is fantastic. Many restaurants to chose from. Even the "serve yourself" restaurants have great food with a huge selection. Accommodations are amazing. Make sure you go to the spa. It is top notch and worth every penny. We had a fantastic vacation at this resort. Absolutely nothing to complain about.

Room Tip: As far as I could tell, you can't get a bad room at this resort.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Anne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rafael T, General Manager at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

I am very pleased to know that you had a wonderful stay with us and I am very happy to learn you liked our restaurants, Spa, and staff.

The Reserve team is going to be more than glad to welcome you back for another best vacation.

Best regards,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director
Paradisus Resorts Punta Cana
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real

Property: 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:
Beach 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:
#1 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#2 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real 5*
Number of rooms: 190
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Explore The Reserve, our new boutique resort within a resort, designed for those whose stay in a luxury suite is as important as sun, sea and sand. Including three pools and a la carte restaurants, YHI Spa and gym, Swim up Suites with direct access to the pool Family Concierge Suites. Take benefit of your stay at The Reserve and use its facilities and services as well as the ones in Paradisus Palma Real Resort. ... more   less 
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The Reserve At Paradisus Palma Real Hotel Punta Cana

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