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!)
- 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