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“A piece of paradise with a sprinkling of attitude”

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Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino
Ranked #15 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Portland, Oregon
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A piece of paradise with a sprinkling of attitude”
Reviewed July 9, 2012

After a year of serious hard work as a teacher, as a graduate student ,and a new mom, I was ready to escape to a place where I would be pampered and released of all worry. The palladium palace resort really did live up to my expectations with the exception of the interactions I had with some of the staff, namely the male staff at the front desk.

First, we booked a loft suite and although some reviews stated the rooms were renovated, ours was not. We arrived at 2:30 pm and when we went to the front desk to check in, we were greeted by a younger man who clearly did not care whether we were there or not. We expected welcome drinks or at least a welcome at this all inclusive, but instead Eduardo at the front desk said that there was no water available when I asked for it. We had been in transit for almost a full day and by the time we arrived at the resort, it was 25 degrees hotter than where we came from and I thought I was going to faint. I didn't know if it was a joke or what, but it turns out that the lobby not only has a bar full of water but there was also a water dispenser within feet of the front desk that Eduardo could have directed me to. Instead he told me that there was no water available.

We booked our stay through all inclusiveoutlet.com and they told us to put in all of our requests through email before arriving and we did. All we asked for was a king bed and certain buildings to be placed in. We got neither and when I spoke to Fernando at the front desk about the fact that our room had two double beds instead of a king, he id to call in the morning to see if he had an availability. This was a but ridiculous since we booked over a month in advance and the resort was not busy at all. I asked the bell boy the name of the manager of the front desk and he said it was Julian Fernandez and when I spoke to him about the rudeness of Eduardo and our requests, he was a little nicer but rather patronizing as opposed to showing actual caring about the level of service. We had a few other interactions like this in the lobby but they were all with males and I guess I we just chalked it up to the cultural machismo. We are a same sex couple travelling with our infant and I think the lack of a man in our party definitely affected the level of service we received from the front desk to the drinks that were brought to our tables at the buffets. The women servers were super nice and we had zero problems with them for some reason.

With all of that aside, our experience at the resort was really great. We ate at the buffets for breakfast and lunch and ate at the a la cartes for dinner. The front desk failed to give us a schedule of open and closed restaurants for each night but we have travelled a lot and really just orientated ourselves fairly quickly. The food overall was good and there was a great and fresh selection of everything for everyone. We are seafood eating vegetarians and we had no issues finding enough food to eat. There is also no need to reserve at the a la carts and you don't have a limit of how many you an at at. There is a Japanese teppanyaki, Greek/mediterranean,Brazilian, Italian, Spanish,Steakhouse, and a couple others to chose from. The great thing is that the palladium is a huge complex of resorts and you can access all of the resorts with the exception of the Grand Turquesa which is an adults only resort.

There are a bunch of pools as well and the one at the palace and the one at the punta Cana palladium is where we spent most of our time. They all have swim up bars, the drinks are served quickly, and the palapas were pretty easy to get. We did get up early to get our palapas on the beach and by just setting a pool towel on a sun chair, it was honored as reserved.

We didn't do much at night since we had a baby and spent evenings watching people walk by our balcony, but we had a great time in the lobbies drinking espressos and cappuccinos. There is live music every night and the original Bavarro part of the resort has a night club and shows.

One last thing to note is that I speak Spanish that I learned in college and it really helped. This place caters to Spanish speakers but if you speak English that is okay too, you will just stick out like a sore thumb. We also left a $2 tip per day for our maid and the same for our mini bar guy and it paid off. Our mini bar was stocked well and rooms cleaned daily.

We left very happy with our stay feeling that we definitely got our money's worth but as we were leaving, I went to the kiosk across from the front desk to do my exit survey and as I began, the kiosk oddly shut down just as I watched Eduardo from the front desk go to the back and come back out. Hmmm....

If you are adventurous and can get over it fairly easily, I would recommend this place. The setting, pools, and beach are awesome. The people need a little work as they are slow to serve you but that was just what I saw as those with men at their tables had quick service and those without we're left waiting. The front desk is definitely rude and each guest does seem to have a different level of service, but it was relaxing and it was easy to access food and drinks. I feel relaxed but not going to become a Palladium Addict. (yes there is such a thing, google it!)

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank wanderlust-TRIP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Germantown, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

We stayed June 17-24. This was my first to trip to Punta Cana. Let me just say it was "Paradise". Before I left I read all of the reviews about this resort, most of them were negative, so I was very nervous about going to this resort, in fact I was very depressed about even going on the trip. I always read trip advisor for all of my trips, but I will be honest, I really don't understand why everyone was so negative about this resort. First of all the beach and grounds were awesome and very clean. We stayed Bldg 94 on the first floor. Yes this is a huge resort, but that gives you more options for dinner and things to do.. The food was fine, but that is what you get with buffet food. We ate at the Brazilian, Japanese, Mexican, Italian and the Steakhouse. They were all good and my favorite was the Mexican. It was the best meal I had all week. We never had any issues with the staff; always very friendly and helpful. The pool bars were awesome. We had the best bartender ever.. his name was William. He was awesome. We visited most of the pools and they were great and they all had something different to offer. The rooms were clean, NO BUGS. The beds and pillows were hard, that would be the only complaint I would have about the room. Yes the TV was old, but who really cares about watching TV when you are staying at a beautiful place. Our vacation was wonderful and I would definitely go back. I have no idea why I was ever depressed before I left. I understand everyone has different tastes and likes, but this place very nice and I just don't understand why it receives the negative reviews.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
16 Thank Staceyelaine526
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuttawa, Kentucky
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2012

The beach is beautiful and the room is extremely clean. The food is okay, and I really enjoyed the Japanese restaurant. The customer service is inconsistent. For example, I was dropped off at the front gate, security didn't want to let me enter because my name wasn't correctly spelled on the reservation,a nd then I had to walk in from the front gate. Five carts passed me by before one finally stopped, and I was already at the hotel by then. Some of the folks at the front desk don't quite understand the concept of customer service and would be better off working in security. I had to ask for an extra beach towel card because mine was lost in the room (the maid may have thrown it away), but I had to finally get a manager to help. The drinks were good, and since there was a bar in the lobby, it was nice to get a drink after dealing with the front desk.

Room Tip: Study ahead and decide what you want: beachfront, poolside, restaurant close by.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Stan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2012

Just returned from the GPP and have to say I was extremely disappointed. Yes, the resort is large - spread out over 3 resorts/areas/sections. Yes, to get to other sections like Bavaro where the Disco, SportsBar, Hemingways, Mexican (and others) Restaurant and the Shows are you do need to take the train or........(didn't know this till day 4) find a golf cart and have the driver take you! Beds and pillows - like sleeping on a rock. Rooms were clean and adequate. Didn't really see much of the towel game being played - we never had a problem finding chairs and a papala on the beach each morning. Property was clean. Beach buffet was not appealing. Food dried out and chafing dishes were all broken - half couldn't even open!

We ate at the Brazilian, Mediteranean, Japanese, Italian, Steakhouse and Mexican Restaurants. All were very good with the exception of the Mexican (consider Taco Bell?) and the Italian (orders were wrong, late and even forgotten). The buffet up by the lobby was closed the first couple of days for renovations but reopened and was great for breakfast. The buffet over in the Punta Cana section near the pool was very good and that pool was very nice. Biggest complaint on the buffets - when they are done serving breakfast they close completely. Other resorts I have stayed at in PC don't completely close between meals - you can usually go in and get some fruit, yogurt or breads. Not here so if you missed breakfast you had to wait till 12:30 for lunch.

Okay now for the gripes. Front desk staff - VERY RUDE!!! We had 10 rooms, types (ie...king or 2 queens) was clearly stated and requested before hand. When we got our rooms we ended up with 2, 20yr old men put into a 1-king bed room, 3, 20yr old ladies put into a 1-king bed room, and a dad and his 15yr old daughter in a 1-king bed room!!! REALLY!!! The boys we got changed to another bldg on the other side of the pool - away from the group. The girls, got an additional room for nights 2 & 3 (the a/c in the second room was broken), finally on the 4th night a cot was brought to their room. The father and daughter stayed with what they had after seeing all the trouble trying to get the other rooms right. The Apple Rep was just as rude as when the room problems were mentioned to him his response was "we don't guarantee rooms". Hmmmmmm.

One parent had an issue one evening with a light burning out making noises and smelt of burning - after calling the front desk twice to have someone come look at it, the 3rd time the desk person hung up on her because he didn't understand her!

Language barrier is a huge problem here!!! Do I expect them to speak fluent english? No, but front desk workers should understand something and not hangup on your guest. The front desk is the resorts first chance to impress the guests and with non-smiling workers that's not a good thing.

If would have been nice if everyday there was a schedule of events either posted in your building, the lobby or slid under your door to know what was going on. We all did do some excursions - fishing, zip line, swimming with the dolphins, and catamaran.

With all the issues we did have an enjoyable time but I will not be coming back here.

Room Tip: Bldg 91 is close to beach and pool - but further from lobby. We had rooms in bldgs 91, 93, 95, 97 a...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank PatsRedSox-Fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2012

We just returned from a week stay at the Palladium Palace. I had mixed feelings about booking this resort and should've listened to the online reviews. This is definitely not a 5 or even a 4 star resort. Even though the grounds are nicely kept and the rooms are clean, it is very old and outdated. The beds are really hard and the pillows are a joke. I heard a few comments about bed bugs and even though the mattress looked clean, I had some kind of bites all over my feet. The could be contributed to the little fly like looking mosquitoes but who knows. I washed every piece of clothing when we returned just to be sure.
The food was so so. There was a pretty good selection, I mean it's hard to feed that many people but taste-wise, it's nothing to write home about. The specialty restaurants (Japanese, Brazilian and the Steak House) have much better food but the reservation system or better yet the lack of a reservation system is a joke as well. The restaurants open at 6 pm and a line starts forming at about 5 pm, you have to stand in the line to either try to get a table immediately or make a reservation for a later time in the same night. Our average waiting time for the specialty restaurants was hour and a half. Unbelievable, it would be so much more efficient to be able to make a reservation ahead of time instead of standing in line and sweating in the heat.
The staff does work very hard, and they are much more friendly when you tip. Not surprisingly speaking Spanish is a huge advantage.
The pool is ok, it closes at 7 pm for cleaning, the towel shack closes at 5:30 pm, so if you stay at the pool longer plan of taking wet towels back to your room.
The beach was beautiful as described, the water nice and warm.
Another worthy thing to mention is if you plan on shopping, it is ridiculously expensive.
It is a huge resort, plan on walking a lot.
This basically covers all the main points, I would not return to this resort and do not recommend it.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ltajes, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino, responded to this review, August 23, 2014
Dear Guest,

We are most disturbed to learn about your dissatisfaction on this trip. Allow me to extend our most sincere apologies if we could not far exceed your expectations. I regret not having had the opportunity to attend you personally during your stay. We also organize a special event, the Management Cocktail, where our guests are invited to make suggestions, ask questions and share their comments with the various Department Managers.

Be assured that all your observation have been studied and discussed with our Managing Team. We understand that there is always room for improvement and our guests’ experiences play the key role in this continuous process, which leads us to achieve service excellence.

Sincerely,

L. Tajes
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jefferson City, Missouri
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2012

This was the first Palladium resort that my husband and I have stayed. We went with a group of 3 couples, and while we are all pretty easy to please I still have to give this resort a 3 out of 5 (should be a 2 out of 5, but the beach and grounds made up for some of the negatives) and I would say the biggest negative was the size of this resort. It was huge! There is a train/trolley system that goes around the resort (there is supposed to be a train every 15 minutes....but it was really more like every 45 minutes to 1 hour. And when you do manage to catch the train...it takes about 40 minutes to go around the resort once).

However, the beach was the best beach of all the resorts we have stayed. Absolutely beautiful! And the beach was big enough that we never felt crowded - which says a lot considering the size of the resort and how many people were staying at this resort at one time. The gounds were well maintained, and we always saw the groundkeepers working hard to keep it that way! We found that most of the staff at this resort were very nice, but a couple seemed like they could care less (mostly at the front desk).

We had to change rooms once because my husband and I were put in a different section than the other 2 couples we booked with and with a resort this size it made finding our group impossible. We enjoyed the big jetted tubs in the rooms and the rooms were decorated nice enough. The t.v. in our room was terrible, but then again who goes on vacation to watch t.v.? The biggest complaint about the room we were moved to was that when it rained (which it did every afternoon)...we got a trickle of water in through the bathroom ceiling. We didn't want to change rooms again, so we just dealt with it. I honestly don't see how maintence can keep up with all the buildings in this resort! The beds and pillows are super hard! We actually paid $3 per night, per pillow for "pillow upgrades"....which tells me that the resort knows how terrible the pillows in the rooms are!

The food was just o.k. But I've read many times that you do not go to the DR for great food. We ate at the Japanese retaurant 3 times during our week stay - it was so good! We tried 3 times during our stay to get into the steak house before we actually got in...and it was not a great experience. All of our orders were wrong - wrong cut of steak, wrong temperature, wrong sides and it was about 3 hours before it was all said and done...we should have just skipped the steak house. Biggest complaint about the food is that on our last full day I started eating a hamburger at the lunch buffet before realizing that it was not cooked all the way through! My husband was quick to tell me that I was going to get sick from this and I blew it off thinking I would be fine since I only ate a couple of bites....the next day we were scheduled to leave the resort at noon and I was extremely ill....and had stomach issues for about a week after getting home. This was my first experience with this type of illness from eating or drinking outside of the United States...and I will sure be more leary of food and drink next time we travel!

We never made it to any of the shows...we were quite happy just sitting in the lobby bar listening to live music or whatever was going on there. We especially like the guitar man....he was amazing!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank cjsteward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2012

I should start this review by stating that I had a fantastic weeklong vacation in early june with my girlfriend. It was my first time to the Carribean since being an young teenager, and Dominican did not disappoint!! The Grand Palladium PALACE was a great resort, all inclusive with decent-good food, generous drinks, friendly staff and well enough manicured grounds.

HOWEVER - I was left with such a bad final experience that I would definitely think twice about returning to this resort. In fact, I may not. Let me explain.

After a great week, my girlfriend and I were in high spirits as we were checking out. We asked for a late checkout, and received it with very little discussion. As I was returning our towel cards (if you lose these, the hotel charges you $15 USD per card.... for towels.... ) the clerk at the front desk informed me that there were telephone charges to my room. I was confused, since I had only made 3 calls to another hotel just 6 kilometers up the same beach (Bavaro Beach) to friends who were staying at the Majestic Colonial. --- Long story short --- this clerk, who was friendly throughout this progressively heated discussion, informed me that I was TO PAY $50 USD for less than 25 MINUTES of local (same beach) calls. I couldn't believe it. I was certain to have checked the rate card, and asked the operator, if there were any charges for local calls. I was informed there weren't.

My girlfriend eventually got pissed off, as did I, because both the clerk - and subsequently the manager - insisted that we had to pay. I insisted back, and demanded to see the room contract, as the manager was sure that I was wrong, and that local charges were clearly stated. THEY WERE NOT. We both reviewed the contract, and when the manager realized the only mention of charges were for international calls, he just walked off still yelling that I had to pay.

My girlfriend and I JUST had enough time to leave the bill - UNPAID - at the front desk and catch our chartered bus to the airport for our flight. The manager was insistent that we could not leave, and would miss our bus or flight, and that it wasn't his problem.

You tell me -- $50 USD for less than 25 minutes of LOCAL calls to another resort on the same beach, with contracts that clearly explained for only international charges.... am I being unreasonable??

Watch this resort for nickel-and-dimeing.... otherwise it was a great vacation, but what a poor, poor way for them to have left it.

Room Tip: ocean VIEW... or near the ocean at Least. facing the beach will allow you to hear, if not see, the o...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank JB L L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino

Property: Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino
Address: Avda. Francia s/n | Playas de Bavaro Higuey, 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) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#15 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#31 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 410
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino 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 Bavaro Resort & Spa and the Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa. The facilities of these adjoining resorts are open to guests of the Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Palladium Palace Hotel
Grand Palladium Palace Punta Cana
Palladium Punta Cana

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