My husband and I went to the Palace for our honeymoon at the end of October, and I really can't say enough good things about it. It is a hidden gem and you should definitely go before everyone else discovers it!
We arrived at the DR airport and we were greeted by our driver who came with a cooler of water, soft drinks and a few Presidentes. He was extremely nice. The drive was a little rough (all driving in the DR is rough as there are no enforced driving laws), and it took about an hour to get to the resort. We pulled through the gates and were in awe of the palace (and it really is a palace). We were greeted by the fabulous Javier and we looked around the grounds of the resort and shown to our room. The room was immaculate. We stayed on the ground floor in a garden suite and I really recommend it. We didn't have to climb stairs to get to our room, it was easily accessible from the common area, and it was the perfect size. It also had doors right out to the pool so we felt like that area was ours. I've seen past reviews where they recommend upgrading to the bigger rooms, but we were very well satisfied with our room. We opted for the smaller room so we could stay longer and we were more than happy with that choice. The one downside is that the bathrooms in the Garden Suites don't have doors, they have curtains, so that might be something to take into consideration if you're not compleely comfortable with your vacation partner.
When we got there, there was only one other couple staying there so we felt really special. I really can't say enough about how beautiful the resort is. The photos don't do it a bit of justice. The beach is wonderful and the ocean is clear and clean.
We went when Hurricane Sandy was going through the area and we still had a wonderful time. It forced us to relax and enjoy ourselves. There are enough covered areas outside so you aren't forced to stay inside. We got enough dry time to still do excursions though. We went with Campo Tours and Felix out into the towns. The first excursion was a bus tour/glass boat ride/beach stop/zip line water splash. I would really recommend it. It was so much fun and the water was incredible. You just don't see water that blue and clear in the states. Like most places in the carribean, the downside to going out on the town is being hassled by the locals. Their main income is from tourists so they really hound you into buying their stuff, but know that everything can be negotiated.
Each member of the staff was so generous and they waited on us hand and foot. We tipped each person who we talked to on a daily basis about 2 days into the trip and that really made a great difference too. We also gave extra at the end of the trip to those who went above and beyond. Also, because there are so few rooms in the palace, it all feels so personal. By our third day, four more couples had gotten there and we met and talked with them all. Then it got to the point where we knew who was coming and going and if new vacationers would be there with us. It was an unbelievable experience.
We had a wonderful time and couldn't have asked for a better honeymoon. We will be going back!
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- Also Known As:
- The Palace At Playa Grande Hotel Rio San Juan