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“Nice Resort!”

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Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Ranked #42 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Nice Resort!”
Reviewed August 29, 2012

We were two American families (4 adults & 8,9,10 year olds) traveling on our annual trip to the Caribbean – we were a bit nervous after reading the reviews – and I can’t imagine what could prompt such negative reviews? Overall, in my experience, the resort is slightly above average, not the best that I’ve stayed at (for the same price point), but certainly adequate for a week of fun in the Caribbean provided you book at a value price. The resort is huge, with beautiful landscaping, very close beach access, numerous pools, Kids Club, activity club, casino, numerous restaurants, theater and bars everywhere! I am sure that the experience of your trip will depend on when you travel and the weather. For our trip in early August 2012, the resort seemed deserted – we had no trouble finding a spot on the beach or shaded chairs at the pool – we had no trouble walking into any of the a la carte restaurants for dinner (except the Hibachi which we did stand in line from 5:30 to 6:00 to place a reservation) – and we had no trouble being served at any of the pool or lobby bars.

We travelled via Sunwing and that was a GREAT airline experience! We got everything promised – champagne, wine, meals, movies, hot towels, snacks and activity packs for kids – BEST AIRLINE EVER! First class service – awesome!

Feel free to email me with any questions?

The Good:

(1) FOOD! Food and service was really good in the a la carte restaurants and my favorites were Rodizio (Brazilian), Sumptori (Hibachi) and Cantina Mariachi (Mexican). Meals were excellent! I did not care for the Beach Buffet “La Uva” (hamburgers, fries, fish sticks, nachos, chicken nuggets) as the food was greasy/bland. Also, the Trattoria (Italian) was not very tasty and had terrible/nonexistent service. The breakfast buffet was great, with many selections and even mimosas on certain days. The lunch buffet served a great variety of food. Dinner buffets are themed and the staff is very energetic if you arrive when the doors open. A La Cartes are the way to go!

(2) Select Staff – Two names that stand out were Freddy at the Saona Bar and William at the Buffet – super nice people that made our trip more memorable! There was also a great guy at the Lobby Bar that kept calling us family (can’t remember his name)! Also, the guy with Dolin Divers at the Palace Pool saw me struggling with moving my lounger chair, moved it for me and said – “You are on vacation – I will get it for you” – very courteous!!

(3) Theater – Dominican Divas was very entertaining and the Magic Show (missed the other shows)

The Bad:

(1) Front Desk Personnel - Dealt with some really rude people here – seems like the crabbiest check in ever! I arrived at 11pm and the guy yelled at me “Lady I told you I can’t do that” about getting our rooms close to the family we went with (as pre-requested). Completely unnecessary. Plus they would escape to the back office even though we were waiting at the desk for some need. Very RUDE!

(2) Seaweed – I’m not faulting the resort as you can’t control mother nature and they did rake up/remove the seaweed on a daily basis. The plants wrap around your legs in the ocean. The ocean temp was in the mid 70’s, which was a bit chillier than I have become accustomed to in the Carib and the water was a bit murkey with a stronger tide – this may have been a temporary situation caused by Tropical Depression Ernesto that was on the fringe of the DR. I much more enjoyed the ocean at Riviera Maya (we stayed at Barcelo Aug 2011).

(3) Shower/Tub in Room – poor design of a whirlpool tub with a hand held shower above – this shower sprayed outside the tub and flooded the floor everyday. Also, had a hard time getting hand towels.

Excursions

Booked parasailing on the beach with Pedro for $30 per person (negotiated) – ended up being in the air for about 10 minutes only – trip was promised at 45 minutes - my husband talked to Pedro and he offered another trip to compensate. Ask questions before you book!

Booked Dolphin Island through resort’s Sunwing rep – Tourist Trap beware! $145 per person plus $45 more for the pictures (for 2). The trip was ok – but once I talked to others at the resort, I felt this was a horrible value. This was a trip to pet and play with the dolphins but not actually swim on their backs like another trip that was only $5 more per person – book that excursion instead. We were in the water about 30 minutes with the dolphins, then snorkeled with sharks and rays, then had about 1 hour of free time before the bus left, which seemed excessive. Further, the bus stops at all the resorts to pick up/drop off, all of which have tons of speed bumps – not a fun ride at all. The trip was misrepresented too - promised to be 3 hours but was 5 hours in total.

You may be offered ‘free shopping’ in the lobby – this is a Tourist Trap! You will drive about 1-2 miles away to a mini mall with two stores that do not have negotiable pricing. Prices were ok on some items, but others seemed higher than the locals. This bus will not pick you up for another hour. We decided to walk back to the resort on our own, rather than wait and found another shopping area on the way. There are tons of the same type of shops at the Royal Turquesa edge of the resort – they all have the same items – and the experience is very high pressure. My male friend was told by Palladium security to not go there alone although we had no problems as a group. The items are authentically made – coffee, jewelry, knick knacks, t-shirts… I honestly wish that I would have just bought my t-shirt souvenirs at the Hotel Shop as the quality was better.

Palladium Travel Tips:

Lobby has free wi-fi access

Electric is 2 pin 110V – you need an adaptor for standard American appliances – our room had two adaptors for use and we were told they also sell them for $2.00 at the resort.

Plan to dine early (6:00pm) when the a la cartes open – huge lines formed as we were dining.

Pillows were ok – got really bad reviews for some reason. I took my own and forgot it there

We took a stack of $1 and $2 bills for tips – I surprisingly didn’t see many people tipping, but great service deserves tips!

Communication was frustrating at times. This is a predominately Spanish speaking area – it was very hard to communicate with the maids and certain staff. Some staff speak English very well though. I personally wished that I was more fluent in Spanish.

Take bug spray – got a little bit up at night.

We sat through the Palladium Travel Club presentation and were so tempted but ultimately did not buy – if any members are reading would you send me a message on your thoughts on the club?

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Michelle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rsegarra, General Manager at Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 7, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for sharing your recent experience at the Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort and Spa and also for having taken the time to do so.
We really appreciate your possitive comments. We value your feedback very positively because it will only help us to improve our service.

We are delighted to hear that you have enjoyed the restaurants and the main facilities in our premises such as the pools and the beach, as well as your possitive comments about our staff which at the end of the day are the ones who make Palladium to be one of the most beloved resorts in the caribbean.


We are looking forward to host you and your family in the near future

Kind regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Boston
Level Contributor
25 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2012

I guess it is fine for what it is worth, as we returned again this year, as did many, many other guests. For returning guests,you will notice a lot of updates, very nice work on updating restaurants and property.the downside is that the rooms are disgusting!! One of our four rooms leaked water from the ceiling. It actually ran down nonstop in a stream, I complained about 4times. The Dominicans just gave me lip service, no one even looked at it. So the rooms smell either like putrid stale cigarettes or musty and moldy. Even my clothes still smell after arriving home. The pools are very nice, abundant and fun. The show quality went down. The food quality was ok, some much better than last year. Only other complaint is about having to wear pants to dinner for guys. Some of the guys on our trip didn't know and had to buy overpriced pants at the gift shop. Lobby Internet was good (and free). Staff is nice. Last complaint...the fact that People there hound you, I mean hound you...everywhere you turn to buy some sort of excursion package. You can't even get your transfer back (which is part of package that was paid) to the airport unless you listen to a sales talk. What kind of $!*& is that??

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank aterenzio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklin, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 20, 2012

So where do I start. The check-in at the reception was slow and the staff were not the friendliest at this point.
We got our room which was in the 3000 block on the ground floor. The room was a bit worn out and dated and really could do with a facelift, but it was clean and tidy.
We left our room to explore and found ourselves right at the pool and 20m from the beach.......this was a real plus!!
The grounds are breathtaking and due to the large property that the hotel resides on, there was plenty of exploring. If you don't like to do too much walking there is a train that runs throughout the resort stopping at all the major areas of interest. The pools are fantastic...however they could do with a bit of TLC in some areas just to clean up their appearence.
The restaurants are amazing with a lot of choices to choose from. There are numerous a la carte restaurants throughout the complex and there is no requirement to make reservations and you can go as often as you like throughout your stay. We particularly liked the Italian.
The bars were good, but the only thing I disliked was that the bar staff would serve the local Spanish speakers first when it was busy. I always try and use Spanish with the staff and make an effort but was ignored on several occasions.
All in all despite a few negative things that I have mentioned this a great resort to come to. I travelled here with my wife and two young daughters and we had a fantastic time here and will definetly look to return next year.
For those of you reading some of the other reviews that have nothing good to say, I would say take the plunge and check it out for yourself, you will definetley be glad you did!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PuntaCanaAddict22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2012

Okay - the negative first to get it out of the way.
Our room was shabby and not particularly clean. On the last day we even found a cockroach - and the reception staff didn't seem to care less when we told them. To add insult to injury, we discovered that someone (presumably the maid?) had been making calls to various locations within the Dominican Republic and charging it to our room. Has she asked us if she could use the phone we'd have probably said yes - but this was sneaky and dishonest, and it was only because our rep stepped in and pointed out that he could prove we weren't even in the resort at the times of the call that they finally agreed not to charge us.

So the positive. Well, the pools and beach were fab, the staff (apart from those on reception) were friendly, and the bars were very good. In genersl i would say the facilities were good. The food in the main buffet restaurant was average-good - but the food in the a ls carte restaurants was excellent and really exceeded expectations; the Spanish restaurant in particular was fab!

In sum, would go back, but think it would be better if they could improve the shabby look and the cirumspect hygiene of the rooms. Oh, and give the reception staff s lesson on customer service! :-)

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank EsJayonice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 16, 2012

One sole complaint, but hardly a deal breaker.....
Check-in upon arrival was not a great initial representation of the resort. There was only one person behind the desk, and he was very unfriendly, unwelcoming and unacommodating. Staff should be placed differently due to different personalities!
The rest of the week was FANTASTIC. Food was excellent!! Tried the Brazilian (our favorite), the Italian, and Mexican restaurants on site. Food to DIE for. The buffets on site had fresh food of all varieties and service was excellent as well!! Anthony served us breakfast daily with a huge smile and entertained our children while drinking fresh squeezed juices and morning champagne and good coffee for us adults. Bar staff was excellent, especially Freddy and Daysi, near the pool.
Grounds were well kept and clean. Rooms were a little dated, but kept clean and refrigerator well stocked each day. Beaches were full of seaweed in the mornings, but it kind of added to the beaches uniqueness and allure. Staff removed this and hulled it away daily at least!
Beaches were not very crowded and family friendly. Ocean was a little more rough compared to other areas we have been in the Caribbean, but this may have been due to the tropical storm that went through just south of The Dominican just days before we arrived. Kind of reminded me of the Atlantic coast beaches in the USA, although the pretty turquoise waters still showed through!!
If you can afford a few more dollars, stay at The Grand Palladium "Palace" on the same property. BEAUTIFUL, and a little more "upscale" as far as decor and food choices at the buffets.
Overall I would give this resort an above average review for the price. Would recommend to friends and family!!

Room Tip: Regular rooms do not represent the entire property. Stay at the Palace on site if you want more upda...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rach0811
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2012

Advantages: A very nice hotel at an amazing location. The hotel is huge and has all the comforts and activities in order not to get bored. Is pretty well organised, very clean and with very good food- really enjoyed the variety and the flavors at the buffets. Wonderful sandy beach. All the staff was very polite and willing to help you. Disadvantages: Very long queues at the a la carte restaurants. You need to wait approx. an hour to enter a restaurant. You could not have a "siesta" after lunch due to noise (party at the pool every day at 3.00pm!, cleaning ladies preparing the rooms etc), changed room twice but nothing... The bed mattress was pretty bad. We felt unprotected at the beach and annoyed as literally every 5 minutes someone was trying to sell us anything you could imagine.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank thchris20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lewes, Delaware
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2012

Our family just returned from a stay at the Grand Palladium Palace in Punta Cana. We had read many reviews prior to our trip and were a bit worried based on people's complaints, however we found the hotel rooms, grounds, pools and beach to be beautiful! It is a very large resort as there are 3 Palladium resorts together. It took us the first 2 days to find our way around, but we love to walk, and there is also a train to get around the resort. The rooms had a king bed, a jacuzzi, and a shower. We found the beds to be comfortable, and no complaints with the pillows. The rooms were clean, romantic and lovely. The breakfast buffets and dinner buffets were good, with plenty of variety. The ala carte restaurants do not take reservations, and there is no limit as to how many times you can eat ala carte vs. buffet. You simply go the the restaurant and get a pager if there is a wait. You can go have a cocktail and relax until you are called. The exception to this is the Japanese Hibachi- they will take a reservation. This was our favorite meal for the week! The only negative we had for the resort was the dive shop- they were disorganized and had outdated equipment and boats. My husband and son tried to go diving, but the boat was overloaded and broke down on the way. I would definately recommend this resort if traveling with a group of various ages. There is something for everyone!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank kshook62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa
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 Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#26 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 535
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Palladium Punta Cana 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 Bavaro 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 Punta Cana (excluding the Royal Suites). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort And Spa
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort Spa

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