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“Enjoyable Vacation for Active Couple”

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Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Ranked #45 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
109 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Enjoyable Vacation for Active Couple”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

We enjoyed our stay at the Grand Palladium Punta Cana. There were pros and cons, of course, and I will list them all. Only about 30 minutes from the airport. The property was beautiful and well kept. Lots of wonderful vegetation leading up to the expansive stretch of soft, white beach. The staff were very friendly. Upon check-in, I asked if we could get ocean view and was accommodated with a partial ocean view (which is really the about the best you can get with the low rise buildings in Punta Cana). This is a very large property. We stayed at the Grand Palladium Punta Cana, which was central to the resort. On one side was the Grand Palladium Bavaro resort, on the other side was the Grand Palladium Palace and Suites. There were well kept covered walkways and trolleys to ride if walking was not desired. Although the trade winds kept us comfortable in the heat, the covered walkways also helped keep us comfortable. The lobbies, bars and dining rooms were fancy. Servers were everywhere and you did not need to wait long at all for a drink. All staff spoke some English, some better than others. I enjoyed practicing my Spanish (which is not very good at all). They had nightly entertainment in each of the lobbies. We enjoyed the music at the Bavaro lobby the best. Live band and singer. Fast and slow songs for dancing. Fun atmosphere. We went to the Michael Jackson show in one of the two theaters. The theater wasn't fancy, but we enjoyed the layout with plenty of chairs and tables for seating and a walk up bar or wait service available. The Sports Bar was also nice. Plenty of drinks and snacks available, TVs, pool tables, open 24 hours!
There were usually plenty of chairs out at the beach, however, poolside could be an issue, as many people "saved" chairs prior to 8am by leaving their towels on the chairs then coming back later. We had to resort to, "If you can't beat em, join em" and put our towels on chairs before breakfast a couple of days to get a seat.
I was disappointed in the room. Yes, I liked that it had the partial ocean view with a balcony. The location of our building was really wonderful. We were in the 2000 building, the closest you can be to the beach and also next to one of the quieter pools. However, the room itself really needed to be updated. Tube TV and old furniture. Shower design issue resulted in black mildew around the jacuzzi tub. Complementary minibar contained Presidente beer, sodapop and bottled water. Ipod dock in the room was very nice. The room was very musty smelling, although we've found this to be a factor at many of the seaside rooms we've stayed in, I believe the odor is worse when the furniture and bedding are older. After a few days, I could no longer smell it. We used the in-room safe everyday. We had some trouble setting the code, as the instructions said to use a 4 digit code and it actually needed to be at least 6 digits. Quite a bit of time was wasted on this.
Housekeeping was a bit unusual. The first two days we didn't get any shampoo, however, there was a basket full of shower gel, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, sewing kit. Most days housekeeping would come in the morning, take the dirty towels and not come until much later in the afternoon with clean ones. This was a bit of a challenge, as we are very active and sometimes shower more than once per day. The housekeepers were very friendly and would even make towel animals and leave fresh flowers around the room.
The Sports Center at the resort was one of our favorite aspects. We try to balance our eating and drinking with activity and it was great to have free access to tennis, basketball, ping pong, paddleball, mini golf, ping pong, turf soccer field. We never had to wait to participate in activities. The turf field was in excellent condition, tennis courts were very good, basketball courts were good. Ping pong and mini golf needed a bit of TLC, but were certainly functional. Free drinks and restrooms were available on site.
We also enjoyed the spa. One early morning when it rained for a bit, we were able to use the spa sauna, sit on comfortable covered lounge chairs and swim. You want to get there early, however, as it isn't that big and fills up quickly. It's quiet. No children allowed. They have hottubs, but they weren't really hot, so I'm not sure of the purpose. The fitness center within was fairly well equipped.
Took some wonderful walks down the beach. In both directions, we were approached by local folks trying to sell souveniers. It was challenging because there were no prices on the items and if you aren't comfortable negotiating, then it can be difficult. We found that if we at least took a look at the wares, the vendors were less likely to pressure us. It was very nice for us that most everything was in US Dollars. We did not exchange any money, however, you want to have LOTS of small bills, as it's very difficult to try to negotiate and say you can only give $10 for an item if all you have is a 20 dollar bill. The front desk was good about giving us small bills. I'm not sure if all resorts would be that good about it.
The free internet - well, you get what you pay for. It was spotty and we needed to call the states using Skype, so we ended up paying for the Premium internet, which was MUCH better. It was $20 for three days or $40 for a week.
The sit down restaurants were excellent. We did not make reservations. Most of them, if you are there at the time they open, you can get in fairly quickly. The longest wait for us was for The Steakhouse. We arrived well past the opening time. However, we waited in the bar and had drinks and met people from all over the world and it was wonderful. The Mariachi restaurant was one of our favorites. The staff were very fun - came around with sombreros for photos and shots of tequila.
The buffet breakfast and lunches were ok. A few times some of the food was cold. It was puzzling because the burners under the chaffing trays were on, but some areas of the food were not warm at all. I also experiencing cracking two hard boiled eggs and having them be runny. I also saw that the sea bass was quite pink on one occasion. I realize that color is not a good indicator in comparison with using a thermometer, but I was skeptical with the other above mentioned issues. I did develop some gastrointestinal issues. I'm not sure if undercooked food was the culprit. I did not drink the water, so I know it was not that. They had an anti-diarrheal medication in the gift shop for $5 USD, which helped immensely.
Overall, we had a great time. We loved all of the options available at this resort. The grounds were beautiful and there was so much to do. There were many more activities available that we did not participate in. If the rooms were upgraded, I would definitely return. I may also consider staying in one of the other Grand Palladium accommodations if they have nicer rooms than the Grand Palladium Punta Cana rooms.

Room Tip: The 2000, 3000, 4000 buildings are closest to the beach, however, they are in the Punta Cana section...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Bman32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (602)
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English first
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013 via mobile

Visited the GPPC from January 8-15. Had a very good week. Like any hotel or resort people will nitpick the little things. Pillows in the room were hard (to me), wifi in the lobbied was slow and kept disconnecting me. Everything else though was fantastic.

The beach is beautiful. There were plenty of chairs available. The shops at the end of the beach....yes the vendors can be aggressive, but they are trying to make a living which I do not think is the easiest thing to do in the DR. A simple no thanks usually sent them on their way.

We visited both pools and they were both very nice. Chairs by the pools are at a premium, so if you try to get one mid day....you will need a bit of luck. This is a busy, huge resort so there are a lot of people looking for pool chairs. Both pools were clean but are showing their age and do need to be re tiled in some spots. No big deal though.

Our room was a standard room. 2 double beds. The room was clean and was kept clean every day by the maid. The mini fridge was also stocked daily. We had a problem with our t.v. Took a few visit from maintenance but it got fixed!

We ate at the buffets only. Food was good. There was lots of selection every night with many different choices from the day before.

All said this is a beautiful, giant resort. The staff were fantastic. Always greeted you with a smile. Look forward to returning to the Grand Palladium.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Ryan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013

I am going back to the this resort in February for our 6th visit as we love this resort. I have stayed in all the hotels including the Royal Suites and can not fault any of them. The staff are second to none polite, friendly, helpful and good fun especially the bar staff at the Palace who are getting to know us. All the pools are great and the location and grounds of the hotels are just perfect. I have never had a bad meal or not been able to find something that I dislike, whether it be A La Carte or Buffet. The beds are a dream to sleep in and the rooms are always immaculate with the mini bar always full. I would recommend this hotel to anyone if you want to chill out and loose yourself for a couple of weeks. We never get bored as we go to recoup and do nothing and reconnect as couple. This resort is the best I have ever stayed in, and the value for money is excellent, and we will continue to visit here for many years to come. DO NOT TAKE ANY NOTICE OF BAD REVIEWS TRY IT FOR YOURSELF. This has become our little paradise that we can't wait to get to every year.

Room Tip: Loft suites in the Palace are lovely and roomy as are all the Jnr Suites.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank debbie101066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
85 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013

Stayed there in April 2010 and the whole week in Punta Cana was amazing. We booked standard room, but asked at the reception in Spanish to move us as close as possible to the beach and we actaully got sea view room with jacuzzi in the room which was a standard there. Room was spacious and clean.

The food - breakfast, lunch, diner - everything was delicious, plenty of choice. We prefer to eat at the dining room, because they were organizing theme nights - every day diffenet food - Mexican, Italian, Spanish, and so on. But the a la carte restaurants were good too.

Beach was amazing, some of the sunbeds were occupied from the early morning, but if you get up about 7 am it was OK to book your favoutite place on the beach with your towel. You can spend your time near the pools if you wish.

Service and staff was great, nothing to complain.

The resort is very big, there is a small shuttle bus looks like a train which drives people around all Grand Palladium hotels.

Don't hesitate to book this hotel.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jimbo J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manassas, Virginia, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2013

I called 2 days before my arrival to confirm my reservation, because my sister and I were staying there with my friend and her fiance, so I wanted to make sure we were in separate rooms, and the woman on the phone confirmed everything in such a pleasant manner. When we arrived at the resort our room reservations were WAY off from what I was told. When I asked to speak to that person who confirmed my reservation 48 hours before, I was informed that she was based in Mexico so she was unavailable to speak with. I dont know how the woman in Mexico was able to confirm my reservation in the dominican republic, but I guess that explains why she just agreed with everything I said.

We had to settle for 2 rooms down the hall from one another (after the ridiculously confusing 90 minute check in process) and the electricity in my room kept cutting out. We would come back from the beach and our room was sweltering. Or we would come back at night and could not turn on the lights. because the power was out in our room only again. And when we called maintenance sometimes it would take them 2+ hours to get to my room.

We also had difficulty getting towels and wash clothes. We waited over 3 hours for wash clothes after a dune buggy excursion and only after I yelled at the manager did they bring them to our room. Of all the resorts I have been to in the DR, this one was THE WORST. I would not advise you spend money here.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank Crys I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013 via mobile

From the minute we arrived the staff was so polite and helpfull . Food was excellent with great choice I recommend the show at the Japanese restaraunt , we took our 7 yr grandson and he was entertained all day by all that was going on . We took a few trips I recommend the buggys it's a full day and we were entertained by the guides from start to finish also somna island traveling by speed boat should be on the list although the dolfin excperence wasn't as good as expected .will we be going back yes without a doubt

Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank Gail H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thunder Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

I have stayed at this resort twice now. We got really good last minute deals both times. We stayed in November the first time then december the second time and it was unreal. I have no complaints about this resort and don't know how people could. The staff is great always something to do during the day, huge pools and beach also with something always going on. The buffets were super good and always got changed up. Each night for dinner at the buffet they changed the nationality of the food. (e.g.: Italian, American, Dominican). The lunch buffet was right next to the beach and you could sit right out in the open with the breeze hitting you or more inside the restaurant where it was still open. Food was good lots of fruit to eat and it was also changed up everyday. The A la Cartes were unlimited so we tried the Italian, Japanese and Gourmet. They were all great accept the Japanese was my favourite. I did it both years we stayed here and also another time at a different resort and its always the best one we eat at. They prepare everything right in front of you and make a show out of it, with tons to choose from. The chef prepared beef, chicken, shrimp,salmon,rice, and then we got deep fried ice cream after and it was awesome!! Highly recommended you will not be let down. I would come back here again and again and not get sick of it. We had a room that was just steps away from the beach and a really nice terrace over looking the pool so we were close to both! Hope this reviews helps you out.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank LeahL95
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:
#27 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 On the Beach 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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