Punta Cana has improved dramatically since the last time we visited this Island. The highway system, shuttles/buses and the airport have made dramatic steps forward which was really nice. We booked through Apple Vacations this time around and were very impressed with the transfer's to and from the airport, and the friendly helpful Apple representatives that we met.
Arrival at the Grand Palladium was smooth and we got exactly what we paid for in the package. The room looked identical to the pictures on the website. We stayed in a Master Junior Suite in a building directly across from the pool, which was perfect as we were traveling with kids. The room was very spacious with a vaulted ceiling in the large marble bathroom. Robes and plenty of towels were available. The room came with two double bed (we struggled with this because we are used to King's and Queens at home) and a sleeper couch. The room was updated and modern and the beds looked new but were very firm. If you are used to a pillow top, you might struggle getting used to these. The pillows were also hard - recommend you bring your own if you are particular in this area. Everything was clean and well taken care of, and the maid service was great. We did have an issue with the card power reader in the room falling off the wall and the air conditioning not turning on one day - but this was taken care of immediately. We left for lunch and when we returned it was fixed. There was always plenty of everything in the room, and if we needed anything - we were able to get it quickly.
Recommend booking your supper plans for the week immediately after you arrive. They have several good restaurants. Recommended - Chinese, Japanese, Seafood and Steakhouse. Not Recommended is the Italian restaurant - the service was non existent and what we ordered was terrible. We wanted water and no one ever came by to serve us drinks. We kept asking for dessert, but after 20 minutes we just left and went to the buffet. The Beach Party was OK - it was a really nice evening when we went. Lunch is served by buffet right next to the beach daily. These were good. Overall, the restaurant staff were very hardworking and friendly. Most went out of their way to make sure you had everything you needed. TIPS - spread the wealth to these hard working people. A few dollars goes a long way here. I know they say all-inclusive but we noticed the workers seemed to work all day and all night. The same people who served you at lunch would be there late into the evening serving you supper.
We took 2 trips - a 1/2 day snorkeling trip which was just OK and the Sonoa Island trip. I will review those separately.
The resort was VERY large. There were 4 resorts right next to each other and we had access to 3 out of the 4. The 4th was an adults only. There were multiple pools, multiple shopping areas and golf cart trains which seemed to come every 10 minutes or so. The golf carts circled the property so it was easy to get where you need to go. Every evening after supper we would jump on the train and ride around the resort and admire the beautiful property. If you have trouble walking long distances I would recommend making plans to utilize the free golf cart service.
There was just about everything you could think of at this resort: soccer fields, basketball, trampolines, archery, entertainment, kids club, teens club, water polo, poolside bingo, blowup watersides and hamster balls ... you name it. They had peacocks walking the grounds, Flamingos in the fountains. Beautiful!
The resort also had photographers who brought parrots, monkeys and other critters around and would take pictures which your could purchase in the lobby. If you are looking to have a picture with a particular animal, they have a schedule in the lobby. They also had a professional photographer - Luis - who we hired and was fantastic. We booked an hour with him taking about 300 shots and we purchase about 60 of them for a great price - compared to what we would get at home.
I think the pool at the Grand Palladium Bavaro was the best - we tried all of them. There was a shallow part for little kids, a channel to swim around, water activities, daily water exercise, and a bathing ledge with a steep drop off so be careful! Ray at the pool bar was great and kept busy with our girls requests for smoothies. I recommend you get up early (7 AM) and put your towels out to save a spot by the pool or beach under a hut, otherwise you may end up crispy.
About 10 minute walk down the beach you will find local shops. Recommend you buy your trinkets here if you must. The resort shops - two thumbs down. I don't exactly understand what they are going for here. The selection they offer is very poor and the prices doesn't equate to what you get. There was a flower magnet where someone had glued a cheap flower to a magnet and wrote Punta Cana in a black sharpie marker and they were charging $13? I don't know who would ever buy that and the price wasn't realistic. Recommend they hire someone who specializes in merchandising. If they offered items people would want to buy and priced accordingly, they would have quite the business and your guests would be happier. Dominican does not have this figured out yet.
Overall I give this family friendly resort a two thumbs up!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Palladium Bavaro Resort & Spa enjoys a privileged, sea-front location on the renowned Playa Bavaro. The resort, located on a sprawling estate of lush tropical vegetation and a coconut plantation, is next to the Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino & Royal Suites. The facilities of these adjoining resorts are open to guests of the Grand Palladium Bavaro (excluding the Royal Suites). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium Bavaro Hotel
- Grand Palladium Bavaro Punta Cana
- Grand Bavaro Punta Cana
- Grand Palladium Bavaro Resort Spa
- Punta Cana Palladium
- Punta Cana Grand Palladium
- Palladium Punta Cana
- Palladium Bavaro
- Fiesta Bavaro