Tennis courts on-site, and free use of the Cocotal Golf & Country Club
This sprawling property may require a lot of walking and/or rides via shuttle
Restaurant reservations and bike rentals can be a bit of a hassle
Not all restaurants are included in the price
Shaded beach and pool loungers tend to get snagged early in the morning
The largest of four Paradisus resorts in Punta Cana, this 683-room property still manages to feel uncrowded due to its expansive grounds. Guests can expect to walk or hitch rides on the regular shuttle service to get to the beach, pools, luxury spa, yoga studio and impressive restaurants around the resort; there are also bike stations for those who prefer to cycle. The beach doesn’t quiet down at night as it can at other resorts, but rather comes alive with a party scene appealing to both young and old. The Royal Service upgrade -- expect a sales pitch upon arrival -- allows access to the private lounge and a separate pool and beach area. The resort is a bit more luxurious -- and a bit pricier -- than the neighboring Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort and Iberostar Bavaro.
A sprawling luxury resort with stylish, contemporary decor and a relaxed vibe
This expansive, relatively uncrowded property is spread over peaceful gardens sprinkled with wild orchids, palms and exotic statues. In fact, there are over 30 two-story bungalow-style buildings holding close to 700 rooms. It could take a few days to get the lay of the land here -- identical-looking buildings and winding pathways may cause confusion at onset, but clear signage makes the process easier. The resort’s base is at the lobby, a comfortable open-air space that has plenty of lounge areas for drinking coffee, reading, or enjoying drinks and dancing when evening entertainment begins (there’s a casino here, too).
Just past the lobby is an area where guests can hitch a ride via golf cart shuttle to be taken to other areas of the resort. Guests can also use the signature tangerine bikes, which are located at stations all around the property. Walkers can take time to smell the flowers and explore the lush gardens.
As many rooms as there are, the resort never feels crowded -- it’s too big for that. If guests aren’t relaxing at the lobby, pool, or beach, they may be taking part in a range of activities which include cooking, wine tasting, a spa treatment, or yoga in the bright fitness center.
At night, guests dress up and head to the impressive restaurants or quality buffet spreads that are mostly located near the beach and pool area. After dinner, many guests flock to the trendy Gabi Beach Bar, which lights up at night -- even the futuristic beach chairs glow -- for dancing and chilling with cocktails prepared by charismatic bartenders. It's a cool alternative to the more typical resort-style entertainment occurring simultaneously at the other end of the property.
Space and manicured grounds make this a place for relaxation
This resort is a bit farther north than its sister properties at Palma Real, and guests will find it takes a 30-minute ride to get to the resort from Punta Cana International Airport. As is the case with all resorts along the route, there’s not much to do outside outside of the security gates, aside from visits to Punta Cana Village, Higuey, or the Cocotal Golf & Country Club, which guests have free access to. Most guests are content to stay put on the property and enjoy the beach (make sure to catch the sunrise), pools, bar, dining options, and activities.
Ultra-contemporary rooms with silver color accents and pull-out sofas; most have garden (rather than ocean) views
There are nearly 700 rooms on the entire property, including 514 luxury suites, housed in identical two-story bungalow-style buildings. The bulk of the rooms overlook the gardens, though a few have Caribbean views. The 148 Royal Suites have additional benefits, including access to more restaurants as well as to a private lounge, pool, and beach area. Ambassador Suites and Garden Villas have even more space and facilities, making them a popular choice for brides and grooms getting married on-site.
All rooms are up-to-date, but have different styles depending on the type. Most, such as the Luxury Junior Suites, tend to be ultra-contemporary with silver couches and modern art, while some have more classic decor with mahogany furniture. Consistent amenities include fresh white linens, coffeemakers, minibars stocked daily, CD players, flat-screen TVs, pull-out sofas, and free Wi-Fi (though it's slow in areas). Most come with a king bed or two full beds upon request.
Plenty of exercise options to work off the quality food and beverage options
The Paradisus brand has a few things that make its resorts stand out, including its food and beverage program and the hallmark charismatic service. This high level of service can be felt through most areas of this large property -- especially from those working in the restaurants and bars.
Restaurant options are unique and sophisticated for an all-inclusive resort –- even the buffet spreads contain a range of quality items to suit picky and well-traveled eaters. Passion, from a Michelin-starred Spanish chef, and La Palapa (located on the beach), are not included in the normal rate but are worth a splurge (reservations should be made in advance). Aqua, which is included, has a beautiful setting with private palapa dining areas overlooking lush gardens separated by individual wooden pathways.
Drink service at the pool and at the beach is prompt for the most part, and there's rarely a wait if approaching the bar yourself. Nightlife is not contained to the usual all-inclusive cheesy kind, and appeals to all ages, which helps make the resort a fun choice for destination weddings.
With beach and pool activities, yoga, the use of a high-end fitness center, and of course walks to and from each of these areas, guests have plenty of opportunities for exercise. The bike program provides another way to stay active, thought guests do have to fill out some paperwork before they can take advantage of it. Guests also have access to tennis courts and a golf area a few miles away.
The luxury YHI spa is Asian-themed with indoor and outdoor treatment areas, as well as a nice outdoor pool for relaxation.
Royal Service is available for adults over age of 18 for an extra cost, and offers a more boutique environment within the resort. Royal Service guests get access to a private lounge with champagne and gourmet snacks, as well as to a private pool and beach area.
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