Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
This luxurious sea draws mature guests and families, not partiers.by the turquoise
Though it might look good in photos, this resort has the soul of an lobby. Decorated in muted tones and offering gorgeous views of the turquoise sea, the lobby definitely looks nice, but the elevator muzak, , and gushing of a nearby create a somewhat hectic atmosphere. Likewise, the have beautiful , a gurgling , a precious little bridge, and even live flamingos, but there are also plastic rocks with built-in speakers playing Michael Bolton and late-era Madonna.mega-resort. Take, for instance, the second-floor marble
The luxurious rooms, high-quality restaurants, and endless amenities all make the Paradisus one of the best all-inclusives in Punta Cana, but it’s still an all-inclusive, which means buffet dining and lip-synched Michael Jackson performances nightly. Guests in search of a more exclusive experience can book one of the adults-only Royal Service Suites, which are more luxurious and come with a higher level of service.
Though guests primarily hail from Canada, the Paradisus draws mature guests from all over the world, along with young families. It’s not really a resort for partiers (certainly not spring breakers on a budget), but it's definitely large enough to appeal to a wide range of people.
Despite the long wait to check-in/out, the staff is very friendly and welcoming. Plus, guests get their own travel concierge.
The front desk staff is pretty limited here, with only two clerks at any given time to handle a resort with 554 rooms. This means significant lines for both check-in and check-out. But, unlike many resorts, guests are assigned a "travel concierge” at check-in that are responsible for explaining the resort's variouson the map and taking any dinner reservation requests. This is a welcome improvement from most all-inclusive resorts, which require guests to queue up first thing in the morning for that evening’s dinner reservations. (Alternatively, some of the pricier resorts have a no-reservations policy, but this means that guests sometimes have to wait several hours for a table each night). Just be wary of time share offers.
Guests in the adults-only Royal Service Suites receive -- as the name suggests -- a higher level of service. Extras include free drinks and cool towels upon arrival at Punta Cana Airport, airport transfers, a separate oceanfront lounge for check-in, and butler service (there is one butler for every six suites). Only Royal Service Suites guests get access to Royal Service ECO Spa and the Italian restaurant, Il Palazzo.
Families can get an equivalent experience when they book the Family Concierge Suites, within The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, dubbed "a boutique resort within a resort". Only Family Concierge Suite guests get access to the Kid Zone pool area.
There are more amenities available close by to Paradisus Palma Real than perhaps any other all-inclusive in Punta Cana. About 20 minutes north of Punta Cana International Airport, the hotel anchors the Palma Real complex, a sprawling gated property that includes the Melia Caribe Tropical Resort, Cocotal Golf Course and Country Club, golf condos, and the brand-new Palma Real Shopping Village, which features American mall-style shopping and restaurants (A Puma store! Geox! Tony Roma’s!).
Punta Cana is known for having the best beaches in the D.R., and the Paradisus' stretch of sand is certainly lovely and less crowded than the typical beach, but the water also has a tendency to be murky. On the bright side, the waves are extremely small and gentle, and the beach sand is impressively clean and sugary.
The resort consists of 554 luxurious suites, set across 18 villa buildings that span the edge of a 125-acre.
Rooms are tastefully decorated in beige and orange, with taupe marble and , and dark wood . There’s a large combined that also includes a and the filled to the brim with cans of Pepsi, 7-Up, Presidente beer, Presidente Light, and water (all the contents are free). The counter also contains bottles of (Absolut vodka and Barcelo dark rum), but to save costs, the hotel has been known to not replace these bottles after each guest, so wary of half-filled bottles.
There is also a separate Monet-esque gardens. Each living area also houses a sofa bed.near the ground-floor that includes a small with two , a silk , and a nice wood coffee . Some of the furniture is a bit musty. Surrounded by lush , the have a nice view of the
On face, theare excellent -- there’s a , a , a separate , and a large . Unfortunately, there are only wooden louvered separating the bathroom from the bedroom, and the toilet area is sealed off only by a stall door. An unfortunate design flaw, because if there’s so much marble, even the tiniest noises in the bathroom echoed throughout the rest of the suite. Prepare to reach a new level of intimacy with your partner. The walls are also fairly thin between rooms, and particularly between . Fortunately, in the the sound doesn’t carry the same weight, and the rooms at the newer section of the resort seem to have corrected this flaw.
At nearly 38,000 square-feet, the main pool is the “largest beachfront free-form” pool in the D.R. With a swim-up bar, built-in , and ample poolside for shade, it is the hub of activity during the day. Poolside guests can even swap stories with a Spanish-speaking parrot or a spider monkey named Mario. But the pool is actually relaxing (hard to come by in all-inclusives). The resort technically has four pools, but the other three are only available to guests who sign-up for the Family Concierge or Royal Service upgrades (both of which are hardly worth it).
Excellent, pro-quality golf course on site, with very affordable greens and cart fees.
The Family Concierge program ensures that families have spacious rooms with , provides a hassle-free family check-in, gives parents and kids to stay in touch, and grants kids access to special beaches and pools. Special in-room amenities include kids’ and , and milk-and-cookies turndown service. There are also special family bonding-style sailing excursions, swimming lessons, and horseback-riding trips. Of course, nannies and camp counselors are also available to take the kids off Mom and Dad’s hands.
Opened in December 2008 in the Family Concierge headquarters, The Reserve offers tasteful, modern apartment-style , newly manicured , and higher-class cuisine, all geared toward families. The multi-room units are impressive, each of which included chic and comfortable , a Jacuzzi in the and on every , a , and a from every building.
The Reserve’swould make even the most staid adult inclined toward a bit of regression. and cartoons are the main orders of business here. There are also plenty of games and toys, as well as healthy snacks that included fruit-flavored and , perfect for little fingers.
The facility also includes a fully equipped gym and a so pretty and serene other guests are bound to be jealous if they get a peak.
The moden, plush rooms, lush, landscaped , and top-notch features here are all in perfect condition.
Although the buffet restaurant is average, the à la carte restaurants provide a high-quality, restaurant-like experience -- something otherwise unheard of in the world.
There are eight restaurants at the Paradisus Palma Real, offering typical D.R. buffet fare and some upscale dining options. There are three buffet options and five à la carte restaurants. Unlike most resorts, the concierge arranges dinner reservations for each guest upon arrival, meaning that guests never have to rise at the crack of dawn and wait in line for a reservation. The resort also offers 24-hour room service. The menu isn't terribly extensive, butat 2 a.m. satisfies late-night cravings pretty well.
Among the name brands available at the resort's eight bars are Johnnie Walker Red, Dewar’s, multiple flavors of Absolut, Cutty Sark scotch, Jack Daniels, Remy Martin, Hennessy, Kahlua, Malibu, Frangelico, and of course, Brugal Rum (the D.R.’s national rum). At dinner, I even received a free bottle of Chilean cabernet sauvignon -- it wasn't swill, which is actually saying a lot for a D.R. all-inclusive.
The D.R.’s fanciest and most expensive , Palma Real has quality restaurants, a less-crowded beach, an enormous pool, free horseback riding, personalized service, beautiful , and in-room . You get a lot more for your money. But it’s still a 554-room mega-resort. Expect a crowd, albeit a well-behaved, mature one.