We stayed at the Paradisus from Feb 9-14, 2013 and had an awesome experience. We booked out vacation thru a travel agent, Kristen Fry with The Shady Umbrella. She set everything up for us. The airline, the transfer from the resort to airport and back. If you are unsure about getting from the airport to the Paradisus, I recommend VIP travel Services from the Punta Cana Airport. They are very professional, prompt and extremely helpful. They can help you with excursions too!
I am not sure what other reviewers have encountered, but my family and I had a wonderful time at the Paradisus Punta Cana. I can actually say this was the best vacation I have ever been on. The reviewers who have been dissatisfied must not have went to the same resort as I did. The staff was very pleasant and went out of their way to help us. It was my parents 40th wedding anniversary and everyone went above and beyond to ensure it was a memorable trip for them.
I read tons of reviews before going to this resort and I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. I e-mailed guest services before my arrival to let them know that it was a special occasion for my parents. Even though I didn't pay any extra for anything special, they gave my parents dinner in the Royal Service restaurant, upgraded our rooms and gave them champagne and fresh fruit in their room. They contact me to make sure everything exceeded my expectations. I couldn't believe that everyone was so kind. I am at awe to read some of the reviews from others who went the same week as I did. I had expected the worst and I was totally wrong. I am not sure what experiences anyone else had, but I can't imagine what could have went wrong.
Now for the tips:
Try to stay in Reserve if possible. There is no butler service, but who needs it. Your concierge is there to make your reservations for you and the pool it just steps from your room, what else do you need? It is a little further from the beach, but the rooms are practically brand new and it is really quiet and relaxing. Each building has its own concierge and each room is a suite with a jacuzzi tub. The Reserve section has its own private pool, buffet restaurant, hydro grill (hamburgers/fries, pizza etc), check in/check out lobby... and the list goes on. It is not crowded and you can always find a lounge chair or bed. AND YES.. there is a swim up bar, but it is attached to the upstairs bar in the restaurant. All you have to do is swim up and someone will come down to serve you, ask for Lorenzo (he is there everyday) and he will come down with a "Hey Baby!".
The Reserve section of the beach is awesome too. You can reserve a lounge bed on the beach with your concierge or if you get there early enough see Mikey, ask for a lounge bed or chair under a canopy and say "Drinky Drinky", you will quickly become "Family" or as he says it "My People" :)
If you cannot stay in the Reserve section, that's OK. The main section is nice too. It is a bit louder because you are closer to the beach and the restaurants. For some that do not like to walk much, this is your section. It is still really nice, but the rooms are smaller. The main beach is nice as well, but it can be a little more crowded. The main people is very active with music and water aerobics, but it's only for a little while. You do not have to participate. You can swim up and getting a drink and dance. It is so much fun. If you have room in your suitcase and can remember, bring your own drink cup with a straw. You can get the bartenders to fill that up instead of a small plastic cup and you won't have to go to the bar as office. Plus you can get them to give you alot more liquor that way. Also, get a shot of MAMAJUANA, you won't regret it!!!!
The restaurants are really nice. I recommend the Grill steakhouse.The rib eye steak with truffle potatoes was so good. It was by far my favorite. Aqua was a beautiful atmosphere, but the food was definitely not Mediterranean... or so I thought. The Lapalapa restaurant ( Royal Service only) was great as well. If you are not Royal Service, It is worth the $15 for as much grilled lobster you can order!! I suggest when you arrive to contact your concierge about reservations as the restaurants do book up fast. I waiting until our second day there to make reservations and had a little trouble getting the time I wanted.
Now for the not so good:
The only thing was the "island time". I'm sure you've heard of this... if someone says a tram ride will be coming in 10 minutes, this really means 30 minutes. You will get a map of the resort when you arrive, Study It. Know which direction you want to travel in, to the beach, restaurants, your room etc. If you get on a tram that is going in the opposite direction you are wanting to go, don't get on it, wait 5 more minutes and it will come around again. I made this mistake a few times and ended up circling around to my building again before going in the direction I wanted. It takes a little to get used to, but make sure you grab a "cerveza/beer" for the road and you will have no worries, nor will you mind the wait.
Another thing... I have read that the food is "mediocre" . I thought it was really good. It is a little different from your Golden Corral's or Denny's buffets in the States, but if I wanted that I would have stayed home. I thought the resort did an amazing job of trying to feed all of its guest and not just feeding us junk food. There was fresh fruits everyday and an assortment of entrees and desserts. It does take time for a waiter to bring you coffee, but what's the hurry, your on vacation. Make some coffee in your room and take it with you to the buffet, this way you only have to wait for a refill. I did this, and it works great.
One more thing... before you write a really bad review, please contact Guest Services at the resort. The number is 6002 on your room phone. I remember this because I called a few times while I was there. Don't depend on the front desk to help. I think this is why there are a few not so good reviews here. If you need the e-mail address to inquire about some concerns you may be having before your vacation, please feel free to e-mail me and I'll give it to you. This is what I did after reading some of the Trip Advisor reviews before I left.
I realized this is really long, but enjoyed my stay at the Paradisus and can not wait to go back. Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. I will be happy share my vacation experience. :)
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