We stayed at The Reserve for one week at the end of February. What a stunning hotel! The grounds are beautifully kept and manicured and the occasional furniture all over th e resort was beautiful.
Check in was swift, with our concierge Marina who was brilliant. We had booked a one bedroom suite on the Family Concierge package, but were upgraded on arrival to a master suite, which was extremely spacious, clean and very well appointed. The two bathroom areas were separated from the bedroom by sliding doors which afford plenty of privacy. There was a large jacuzzi bath inthe first area with double washbasins and the second bathroom area had a double shower, another washbasin and a separate toilet cubicle. There was also a jacuzzi / hot tub on the outdoor terrace. The living room had a large dining table with a kitchen type area,and mini bar, which was very handy when we ordered room service.
The minibar is restocked every day and you can request more of whatever you prefer to drink. They also provided half bottles of rum, vodka and whiskey, which we didn't drink but still a nice touch.
The Family Concierge package is great. You get extra services tailored for children. A childs beach bag, t shirt, hat, beach towel, Factor 50 suncream, toiletries for children, a bath goodie set, childs bathrobe and slippers and nightly milk and cookies turn down service. Some nights Marina had run our daughter a bubble bath in the hot tub filled with balloons, and an aromatherapy pillow. Walkie talkies mean that you were in contact with your concierge at all times (if needed, we didn't!) Marina always let us know her hours, and day off, so that we knew when she was available. She booked our restaurant reservations every night, without fail, at our requested time and we had no problems at all. She always came to find us in the afternoons to check if there was anything we needed. She also arranged a babysitter and our golf times so that we were able to go for early tee-offs.
The Reserve is quite a walk from the beach, but through the most beautifully kept grounds. However we nearly always took the golf cart, which runs constantly, day and night between The Reserve and the beach or main hotel. Leave a little extra time in the evenings to get to the main hotel for restaurants as that is the only time we had to wait.
The pool area atThe Reserve is fabulous with plenty of sunbeds, day beds, swing seats etc. No need to play the towel game here! There is always a quiet spot and plenty of private areas to sit.
The kids pool and kids club were fab! Our daughter played happily on the inflatable water slides, climbing wall etc. The staff are very good. We spent the mornings at the beach and the afternoon by the pool.
The beach is lovely, we always sat in the Gabi Beach area. Yes the sunbeds on the front row get taken early doors (some towel reserving going on here) but there are so many sunbeds that its not a problem, unless you expect to turn up at 11am and get a front line seat! Lots of palapas for shade.
The ocean is fairly calm, safe for children. There is a little seaweed gets washed up, but thats right along this stretch of beach. The sand is white and powder soft and you can walk either direction as far as you can see.
Check the water sports office (by Gabi Beach). They have all sorts of equipment to use (all included) and you have to book here to go on the snorkel trips (also included)
From here you can also book scuba, parasailing, trips to the dolphins etc for an extra fee..
Now to the food. Overall we found it to be very good quality. Especially for an all inclusive resort. I find it hard to believe we stayed at the same place as the people who complained about food.!!!
We had breakfast every day at Gabi Beach at The REserve. Plenty to choose from. Fresh fruit, egg station (cooked to order) pancakes and waffles for the kids, crispy bacon(!) and all manner of salads, breads, cakes.
Lunch was either :
Hydro Grill at the Reserve. Rib eye steaks, salads, chicken and choice of three daily catch fish, cooked to your liking. Burger, pizza hot dog too. You can also order Lobster here for the next days lunch. Beware! They don't tell you this til you see someone eating it and try to order and we only found out this on the day before last so missed out on that! Oh well!
Gabi Beach (main hotel)
Again plenty of choice and beautifully presented. I had the days special fish each time and it was good. Great salads, prawns, pasta, burgers ( you can get burgers everywhere- never had one but my husband said it was good)
Market Grill (main hotel): Buffet style with chargrills to cook your meat choices. Good steaks, fish, chicken and the requisite burger and hot dogs! If they just appear to be cooking burgers or dogs, just ask and they will get the fish or steak for you.
No problems with any of these restaurants, drinks service can be a bit hit and miss, but really, relax, you're on holiday or just wander over to the bar (10 paces!) yourself.
You do not need a reservation to eat at any restaurant for lunch.
Naos buffet, main hotel, to be avoided unless absolutely necessary. We ate here on the first night as we arrived late and just wanted to have a look around and get something simple. It is adequate but the other options are so much better I would not even bother with it unless you have to. You can walk in at any time, no dress code or reservations needed.
Vento: Italian, mediterranean cuisine. Very smart, must reserve, dress code. Good food. Great fillet steak, fab prawns. We watched plenty of people being turned away without reservations or wearing shorts/sandals (men) so dress like you are going out to dinner! If you want to hang out in beachwear at night stick to Naos.
Passion, similar food to Vento, same rules apply, adults only. We preferred Vento but the food was still good.
Gabi Beach(main hotel) the menu changes in the evening. Excellent! The surf and turf lobster/fillet combo is definately recommended. Our favorite. Dress code in the evening.
Aqua (the reserve) believe it or not we did not even notice this restaurant till we'd been there 5 days! Looked lovely but can't comment as we always went to the main hotel in the evening as thats where the children's entertainment is at night.
Drinks, all top shelf from Absolut Vodka, to Tanqueray gin, every brand you can imagine. Just ask. Didnt sample the wine but always had the fizzy stuff. I called it Cava, it says espumante on the wine list and they tried to call it "champagne", not quite, but certainly good enough.
The Teppenyaki place (cant remember name!0 Was ok. Good for a bit of entertainment and a change of scene but not really our thing.
We had room service a couple of times for our little one and it was quick, hot and perfectly ok.
The only minor complaints I would have (and believe me I'm struggling here!) are
1.This is a massive resort. The Reserve area is separate, and a resort in its own right, quite enough here if you want a quiet break. The only things you need to go to the main areas for are the beach and restaurant choice.
2. They give you very little information about the resort. There is no welcome book with information on the restaurants, activities etc in your room so find out before you go and ask your concierge to book your restaurant choices on the first day! With appropriate dining times as these are set times. ( Ithink 6.45, 7.30, 8.15, 9 and 9.45) otherwise you will not get into the restaurants or will have to eat very early, or very late! We always got 8.15. They will leave a ticket for that nights booking in your room and you must take this with you to avoid any problems. They do have an activity list which you should receive ( and a kids timetable) but just ask if you don't get one or you will miss out on whats going on.
3. Personally I think the Reserve guests and Royal Service guests get preferential treatment regarding bookings and where you can sit on the beach. The Gabi Beach club is for these guests only or you will have to pay to eat there, so if this will bother you, bear this in mind when you book.
4. The music playing in the bar areas is Ibiza style/chill out music which was sometimes a bit loud for our taste. A minor gripe really. There was music around the pool areas from cleverly hidden speakers resembling rocks so make sure you sit away form the "rocks" if this will bother you.
All in all a lovely resort with superb service form Marina at The Reserve.. Sometimes service in the restaurant is a little slow, but its the caribbean, relax and chill. Its no problem. Food, very good, not Gordon Ramsey but a great choice and plenty of options.
The Cocotal golf was a nice course with 3 nine holes This is included but you must pay $35 pp for a golf buggy. it gets very busy so there is some waiting on tees and a round can take 5hrs but overall very good.
Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions I am happy to help!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the epitome of resort elegance. Paradisus Palma Real Resort envelops you in privileged comfort and simply astonishing beauty. Discover crystal Caribbean waters, pristine beaches, towering palm trees, stunning gardens and magnificent architecture. Delight in sumptuous private Suites, championship golf, seven world-class international restaurants and stunning pools lined with exotic Bali beds. An all-encompassing paradise of grace, elegance and charm located 25 minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Paradisus Palma Real Hotel Punta Cana
- Paradisus Palma Real Punta Cana
- Paradisus Punta Cana
- Paradisus Palma Real Resort
- Punta Cana Paradisus
- Paradisus Hotel Punta Cana