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“It has the potential to be excellent.”

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The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real
Ranked #4 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“It has the potential to be excellent.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2014

A five night trip in the books. Let me start out by saying the premises are immaculate and the amenities are endless. With the Reserve & Palma Real combined, this a powerful resort. For an all inclusive, you get everything you expect and more. The premium bar is impressive (there's even a mixologist bar). The food is also pretty good (at most establishments) and I had absolutely no problem crushing lobster on multiple nights. The beach, the pools (equipped with numerous loungers, fountains and jacuzzis), cabanas, beds, and hammocks all made sure I was always experiencing bliss. Finally, the nightlife is vibrant and the casino is a huge plus. Last, the SPA is wonderful (although a bit overpriced).

It doesn't sound like I have anything to complain about but...

The SERVICE is SPOTTY. Like I said, the place could be amazing but I dealt with so much sheisty-ness that it really got to me. First, the whole timeshare thing is absurd. I was made to feel really uncomfortable at one point and the whole thing is a RIP OFF. Don't do it. Don't merry Melia. Second, while much of the staff were friendly, some where downright miserable. Third, I was handed a packet of coupon rewards that were EXPIRED. The casino turned them down to my fiancee and I's embarrassment. Ridiculous. They did fix this the next day (by making sure the places started accepting the expired coupons, but not by issuing new ones, this is pretty shady to me) but still hilarious to say the least. Fourth, my all-inclusive mini bar was not re-stocked on several occasions (even water). This was completely unacceptable. Last, unless you came out early or knew the secret location of the Gabi Beach towels, it was difficult to get a towel sometimes and this was during offseason! Pretty unsatisfactory as well!

As my tag line goes, since the place is so beautiful, it has the potential to be great but the service needs some serious work. I really may not even return to the Dominican Republic, why bother? Mexico is right around the corner and I'm always treated like a king there.

P.S. Definitely stay at the reserve, it's an absolute must. You won't have access to many amenities if you don't (unless you get the royal service) including Gabi beach which is some of the best food, drinks and all of the beds on the beach. Also, it's extremely nice to go back to the relaxing Reserve and go in more private pools after being exhausted from the beach and hustle and bustle of the main hotel all day. The people complaining of the distance are exaggerating, I timed it and it takes literally 3 minutes by golf cart (they're always around!) and 8-10 minutes walking which is a nice way to burn some calories after eating and drinking all day.

Room Tip: Definitely do all in your power to stay in a SWIM UP!!!
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank FFEDD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,434)
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English first
Murphy, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2014

Sigh. I did a ton of research before coming to DR. I had never been, but my husband had when he was younger and enjoyed it. The problem is that I had to temper expectations because I have been all over the world and go to Maui once per year (let's face it, this is NO Maui but I didn't expect it to be...) I am also a huge fan of the Virgin Islands so I know I really like the Caribbean beaches. I went with an open mind expecting a shorter and less expensive beach getaway and pre-baby moon.

The Good:
-The Reserve Property is nice and quiet. The swim up rooms are definitely worth the money because of easy pool access and private palapa. The incense also smell really good.
-There are frequent golf carts to take you to the Palma Real resort where the beach is and most restaurants, and it's a few minutes ride.
-The larger Palma Real lobby is very impressive. We didn't stay here but wondered if it would've been nicer to be that close to the beach.
-We didn't purchase the family concierge, but we were assigned one anyway. Norberto was very kind and made reservations for us, which was great because we were stressed from earlier reviews saying we may not get good reservations.
-We showed up early at some restaurants and they worked us in anyway.
-The beds were very comfortable. We were impressed, having slept in many "heavenly beds" during our Westin stays.
-Room service options and taste is OK. We opted for room service many times over the horrible restaurants.
-The beach is wide. There's a lot of area to set up, and there is a private beach for members and reserve guests.

The not-so-good:
-Our concierge, perhaps unintentionally, made us feel obligated to do a time-share presentation. He said that's how he got paid, so we didn't want to be the ones to prevent him from putting food on his kid's plate so we reluctantly went.
-They said it would only be 90m and we can leave early and we get resort credit of $30.
-We were kept longer than 2.5 hours and most of our afternoon! It was a complete waste of time and we didn't get our resort credit which we were promised. Also, beware their fuzzy math. They won't let you leave and ponder anything, and for as much money as it costs, they dont have many answers. DON'T GO.
-The Reserve pool needs work. Lots of tiles are falling off and under the bridges is flat out gross. Also, the metal rails that guide you into the pool are all loose and falling down. be careful.
-The television selection is extremely limited. Don't expect to be able to watch anything other than a few english channels in your down time.
-Everyone, everyone expects a tip. For everything. Be prepared.
-The beach had a ton of black sea grass all over it. They only cleaned it after our third day there. Its in the water too, and it gets all over you and tickles.
-There are a ton of drug dealers all over the beach offering marijuana and cocaine. They are aggressive.
-There is really no shopping, so don't expect to do much other than shop for cigars (if that's your thing). That Melia shopping mall leaves a lot to be desired.
-The Casino at the PR is a joke. There was only one Blackjack table open (all seats taken but other dealers standing around doing nothing) and the slot machines don't print out the winnings. Some guy who speaks no English walks around with a log of winnings you have to collect at the end of the night. Also, they short-changed me.

The Ugly:
- Regardless of what they say, there is NO INTERNET. NONE. Your device will find the network but not be able to connect. They are fully aware and just kinda shrug it off. We couldn't do facetime with our young son, which was a huge let down.
-The Food is TERRIBLE. Almost inedible. What are they thinking making people choke down this garbage? We went to Gabi Beach (gross), Aqua, Mizu, and the Hydro Grill at the bar. The only food that was palatable was Gabi Club at the Reserve because you can make your own pasta at the buffet. The little flat steak on the griddle was decent, too. Fruit was not fresh; nothing was fresh. We got up early without finishing our entree at GB and Aqua because we couldn't finish our food, it was so bad. Passion was the only decent place and its $60 pp. (I digress but the potato soup at Passion was delish.)
- There's a cess pool/swamp between the two properties and it gives off the most rank and foul smell I have EVER smelled in my life. Imagine rot and sulphur and waste. I am pregnant and I almost threw up many times. I'm getting nauseated now just thinking about it. Hold your breath!

We are foodies, and we love to experience all types of cultures and places but the Dominican was just not the place for us. Maybe, because I couldn't get drunk, I didn't enjoy it...but then again, I shouldn't have to get drunk just to enjoy a new place. I've crossed this country off my list and won't be back.
I also asked other travelers at this resort about the issues we experienced and they echoed our sentiment. No internet, terrible food. We all kind of bonded over it, like, oh well that's just how it is down here.

Tips: Don't pay for room upgrade because Expedia guests and maybe other booking sites will give you a $200 upgrade voucher upon check in. The swim up is worth it, though.
Arrive at the PC airport more than 2 hours in advance when you're leaving. The lines are terrible at the ticket counters and some people who showed up 2 hrs in advance missed their flight.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Melissa C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holland, Michigan
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2014

Great experience at Paradisus Palma Real- great food, entertainment and golf. Great concierge with help of a Franklin. Entertainment was far better than expected. Cocotal golf is a very good course with 27 holes. Course condition was outstanding,! Would come back again...

Room Tip: Make sure to upgrade- worth the$$
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David G
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, May 9, 2014
Dear David,

I am glad to learn you have had a great stay with us and that you enjoyed our services and facilities. Our biggest satisfaction is to know that all your expectations were exceed and that you will return in a near future.

All The Reserve team is going to be more than glad to welcome you again to pamper you at 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.
Wayne, New Jersey
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2014

We had an excellent visit to The Reserve in early April. The resort exceeded our expectations -- room, grounds, food, service. Our concierge, Victor Medina, was outstanding. He found us every day to check how we were doing, ask what he could do for us, and make dinner reservations, often changing them last minute to accommodate our schedule. He left balloons for my son's birthday and filled the jacuzzi for my birthday. We went to every restaurant and most were very good. Our children used the Kids Club occasionally for bungi jumping, climbing wall, ping pong, etc. There were plenty of chairs and lounges available by the pool and beach, which is often an issue at all inclusive resorts.

We usually like to visit different locations every year for variety, but would absolutely return to the Reserve in the future.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Josh 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, May 9, 2014
Dear Josh,

First of all, I would like to thank you for your preference in selecting us for your vacation, as well as for letting us know about your recent experience. One of our goals is to create unforgettable memories, and it is a real pleasure to learn we were able to achieve that goal.

Victor Medina and The Reserve team await you soon for a next wonderful vacation at your second home, The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real.

Sincerely,

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.
Rockville Centre, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2014

We stayed at the Reserve with a total of 10 family members and friends in four separate suites. Two of them with swim up pools. The food was very good to excellen and the nightly entertainment was pretty spectacular. We especially liked the Circus (Le Cirque) and the Michael Jackson spectacular. Make sure you book a family concierge. Sulely, our concierge, set up dinner reservations and extras such as balloon bubble baths for our 5 and 2 year old grandsons and a private dinner by the pool with dancers and music. She was a Godsend and ensured that our transfer driver got us to the airport on time for our return flight. We also want to give kudos to Gabriel at Gabi beach for attending to our needs for beach lounges and drinks on the beautiful white sand beach that seemed to stretch for miles. The ocean is magnificent and there are available glass bottom boats, Parachute sailing over the ocean and other amenities. The wait staff was pleasant and generally very attentive, and the food was very good. We would also like to complement Sanson Santana for his excellent and friendly service at the Mizu Hibachi restaurant as well as Hibachi chef Felix Grullon for his excellent service. All of the employees were extremely friendly and gracious. We recommend Aquos , Mizu and Vento for dinner. I would highly recommend the reserve to any traveler. The facilities were clean, beautifully landscaped and in short quite magnificent. We have traveled to many destinations as a family, and this was one of the best. Bring cash for tipping those who gave excellent service.

Room Tip: rooms on the first floor have a swim up river pool and lanai outside the room
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wflynn549
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, May 9, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for posting your review! It is really nice to read your kind words about your recent stay.

I appreciate your kudos to our staff. I personally have shared this review with Sulenny, Gabriel, Sanson and Felix, which are very happy to know they make a positive difference.

I hope you and your family will give us the honor to welcome you back in the near future.

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.
Louisville, Kentucky
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2014

The Reserve at the Paradisus Palma Real is luxury and five star all the way from the rooms, the service to food and amenities. You can do as little or as much as you like it is all there.
We went with our son and his wife and three grandkids.......the family concierge Alicia was like a genie she booked our dinner reservations, reserved beach beds and brought gifts for the kids each night along with expediting check-out.
The pool staff and waiters were attentive and friendly........they met every need.......especially Santo,Teobaldo and Juan Tiren. We will be back to have a romantic getaway for just my husband & I.
We have stayed in 5-star resorts in Cancun, Cabo, Puerto Morales, Aruba this topped them all.

Room Tip: Ask for 1 bedroom suite with view.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank maryCat2
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, May 9, 2014
Dear Mary,

We are extremely happy to know that your family enjoyed our facilities and that your overall experience was a positive.

I appreciate your compliments to Alicia, Santo, Teobaldo and Juan Tiren.

We await you soon at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real.

Sincerely,

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.
Punta Cana
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2014

Great for families, kids good eats relaxing atmosphere go there! We loved everything about the reserve and family concierge you will love every aspect if your relaxing vacation no cooking no driving no cleaning it's all taken care of

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Melia Hotels International

Helpful?
Thank Elena M
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

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 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 On the Beach 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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Also Known As:
The Reserve At Paradisus Palma Real Hotel Punta Cana

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