This was our 7th visit to Paradisus Punta Cana. We were upgraded to "The Reserve", the newest addition to Paradisus Punta Cana. My Husband and I and our friends feel that Paradisus has much more to offer than any other resort for the money. When we first started going to Paradisus, we had rooms by the pool and that is most convenient to all the restaurants and the beach. Last year we(4 couples) opted to stay in Royal Service and it was wonderful. These rooms are nearest to the beach and are upgraded regular rooms, with more ammenities. This year at "The Reserve" which has only been open since Dec 07, has spectacular rooms, huge suits, the rooms are situated around courtyards with fountains, just beautiful and Marianna the Customer Service Mgr. could not have been more helpful to any of our needs. Felix P, the Food Service Mgr. is outstanding and made all our arrangments for dinners, as we have seen Him year after year. When staying at "The Reserve" you have all access to all the Royal Service ammenities, including their beach, but, The Reserve, also has a separate section on the beach right next to Royal Service. The Casino needs to revamp, almost empty every night, so; we went right next door to the Princess Tower Casino, part of the Bavaro Princess and it's much livlier, live music and food served to customers, .25 slots just like we have here in the US and many, many table games. All in all we will keep going back to Paradisus Punta Cana because of the people, service and the most beautiful beach around.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Dinah Knoxville, Tn.
My husband and myself and another couple had a wonderful vacation May10th thru May16th at the Paradisus. This was our sixth time at this resort. We have returned because we love it and we are very pleased with the resort and staff. We feel like some of them are our old friends. Upon arrival my husband stated to the gentleman at the front desk that he is handicapped and wanted to know if it would be possible to have an extra mattress on our bed so he would not have difficulty getting up from the bed. He said they would take care of it and 10 minutes after arriving to our room, the mattress was there, also a ramp was there so my husband did not have to go up the steps which he has difficulty doing. We were so impressed, of course they knew we had been there times before. As usual the food was great, the only thing different was having to make reservations at most of the resturants. We were surprised to see some nice changes made to the resort such as the theater and disco remodeled. I want to mention two of the bar tenders (Socrates and Nestor) for their service to us. The dancers are great and they went out of their way to entertain us. (I love to dance)! We had no problem with the room and housecleaning service…each day the maid brought us a little gift. We sure love the beautiful beach and the enormous pool. We hope to return next year for another wonderful vacation.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Alexa & Sarah USA
This was girl’s only holiday … mother and daughter get-a-way. We went for the week of July 14th. I’m 41 and Sarah is 25. We’re proud to be US citizens, but please do not confuse us with the boorish “Ugly Americans”.
Travel & check-in:
Make sure you’re wearing shorts because the plane disembarks on the tarmac which spills you into an open air customs and baggage claim area. The airport is lovely with a thatched roof and lush plants surround. You’ll have to pay $10.00 when you get there. The baggage porters are aggressive, but totally worth the tip, as they circumnavigate the confusing rows of buses with ease. The resort lobby is open air and beautiful. Checking in was quick and painless.
Our room was wonderful. It was a Junior Suite and quite large with 2 queen beds and a step down living room. The furnishings were nice and the bathroom spotless. There was a slight smell of mildew, but leaving the a/c on and the travel candle took care of that.
Beautiful, lush, impeccably manicured. The low roof lines, tall palms and narrow winding paths make this large resort feel intimate and luxurious.
Most are open air, so pack accordingly. Proper dress for most consisted of anything from dress shorts to summer dresses … nothing fancy. The food, dining ambiance and wait staff were all wonderful. Reservations are required for the French and Japanese restaurants. We did not like the Japanese place, Sakura … not because of the food, which was excellent, but because of the company we were seated with. Parties of 16 are seated around the chef in an intimate dining room. It was all we could do to stay for the entire meal as our dining companions were a family of “Ugly Americans”. Room service food wasn’t all that great. They offer it 24 hours, which is nice at 12am when you have been drinking for a while, but even then, the pizza tastes like Ellio’s.
We spent our bar time divided between the lobby and beach bars. Socrates at the lobby bar and Francisco at the beach bar are two men you want to meet and remember. They both remembered us every night and never let our drink of the moment go empty. Free cigarettes for Sarah and cigars for me were always available. Top shelf liquors were not available, but when drinking mixed drinks as we were, the difference between Patron and Jose Cuervo is lost.
We didn’t use the pool much, as we went to the beach everyday. They give you fresh towels through an exchange hut by the pool. We walked past many other resorts, and for some reason, this resort had the best beach. Better chairs, better beds, better thatched huts, cleaner beaches … better everything! We’d drag our chairs close to the water every morning, and before too long, Pedro from the beach bar would be by with a bucket of ice, a bottle of champagne and freshly squeezed orange juice … and that’s how our day began every day! Perfect!
Sandy, one of the Directors, is a human dynamo. He keeps everybody moving with activities during the day, and shows at night. The shows were enjoyable, but seating was a bit crowded as they were in the lobby. We didn’t do much in the way of excursions. We went on the Thursday party boat and had a great time! Sarah went to a disco in town with some new local friends – had a super night. We both felt very safe.
Two words …. Gracious and genuine. Right from Tony Valdez in Guest Services to Pedro at the beach bar …. The entire staff was so nice and accommodating. They go out of their way to provide exceptional personal attention and I believe made all the difference in our stay. Treat others as you wish to be treated. We cringed on many occasions watching “Ugly Americans” be typically rude, loud and boorishly making unrealistic demands … like the loud idiot who was unhappy a bush was blocking her sun on the beach. Right …. It was a palm tree!
Bottom Line and notes:
-If you get in on Saturday, head for the beach bar that night, as there is a beach party only on that night.
-The stamped roads and pool decks are slippery when wet. Worn out flip flops were not my friends.
-I sat on the beach topless, as did many women. Be prepared with blinders or sunscreen!
-Be prepared to sweat. It’s hot, humid and mostly everything is open air … get over it.
-Do your research before going. If you want a cushy high-rise place that caters to the old at heart, this is not the place for you! This is fun place for singles, families, couples who are not high maintenance – who enjoy walking a lot, enjoy laughing, windy beaches, hot temperatures and great food and drink.
-TIP TIP TIP! Tip as you would at home. One US dollar equals a little over 33 Dominican Pesos! A little goes a long way. I probably gave close to $300 in tips for the airport, shuttle and resort staff … way less than a cruise. We definitely received better service and more attention. Be discreet about it though.
-You don’t need to look like a movie star on the beach, but be prepared to take some photos. A man from the resort photo shop walks around and asks if you want to take photos on the beach…do it! It was an hour long shoot and they came out amazing. They can print them and/or place on a CD. You will pay a pretty penny, but the results are priceless.
-We had an amazing holiday and will definitely go back to Paradisus Punta Cana. Our agenda was to sit on the beach all day, relax and drink heavily. I’d say we were successful in achieving our goal and can honestly say we’ve never had a better time!
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
my wife and i will be going to this resort in nov.to celebrate our 10th wedding anniv.we went there in june of 2005 to celebrate my 50ty birthday.it was the best trip we have ever made.the staff went out of there way to make to make it just wonderfull.they even made me a birthday cake ,had a private waitress.made me a special dinner.we have been to 5 other resorts in d.r. and this was far the best.food was excellent,pool wonderfull,the beach was the best i ever saw.we goy married at sandalsroyal in jamaica,and have been there 8 times.we were very unhappy at the conditions at the resort. in our minds the paradisus is a superior resort.the people at the resort are just the best. i believe everyone should try this resort.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Nick and Bev
My wife and I spent March 11-18 at the Paradisus Punta Cana. We are experienced travelers and this was our third visit to Punta Cana resorts in the last 5 years or so. Without question this was the best resort we have chosen yet. The superior quality of the accommodations, food, environment and personnel was very good indeed. We will definitely consider returning next year.
Our package included the Royal Service option, with a garden view junior suite purchased from Air Canada Vacations through Sears Travel.
Travel and Check In
Air Canada did a competent job of getting us there and back with hot meals served both ways. We traveled in economy class which was fine for a short (4 hours) trip from and to Toronto. (The return flight featured personal TVs at all seats with a great choice of movies and TV shows). On arrival, we were quickly directly to our large, air conditioned bus and had a pleasant but extremely bumpy ride to the resort – about 35 mins. This would have taken half that time had not the roads been full of huge potholes and numerous speed bumps. The Dominicans are slowly building a new divided highway to the resorts but from the looks of it it will take some time to complete.
Upon arrival we were whisked straight to Royal Service check in, a private banking- type office in the Royal Service area of the resort. Although the personal service (no line up etc.) was appreciated the inexperienced staff took way too long to get us to our room. When we got there, though, the quality more than made up for the small delay.
Very clean and spacious, with very comfortable king sized bed, built in chaise longue to watch TV on, coffee table and two chairs, very clean bathroom, lots of soaps, shampoos, face cloths, lovely fluffy oversized towels. Jacuzzi tub with shower, shaving mirror, safe, spacious built in wardrobe, fridge with lots of beverages (you have to ask for beer, which we had no problem with as we usually only have soft drinks in the room). Welcoming fruit basket and French champagne (and an extra bottle for our long check in). They supplied a key to the safe.
We can only describe the food as awesome. Very, very good, the best we have had at any of the Bavero beach resorts. There is a wide variety of a la carte restaurants, plus a very good buffet. The a la cartes were so good we ate at them almost every night. The French one was possibly the most disappointing but it was a matter of degree. The meat quality at all the restaurants was much better than other resorts we visited in prior years. The Mexican and Brazilian places were great.
Premium brands in all bars. Quality of drinks was great.
The Royal Service entitled us to use a reserved area of the beach. We read in other reviews some complaints that non- Royal Service tended to use this area. We didn’t notice any of this, but, in any event there was loads of room and we never had a problem getting nicely placed loungers for the day. And the loungers – fantastic! We were told they are called Bali beds – huge things the size of double beds, you sink into them. Plus the regular loungers that are easier to move. Add to this wait service for drinks, and you get our idea of a perfect day. The beach of course is spectacular, regularly groomed, lovely near-white sand. There was a fairly continuous breeze off the sea which creates great waves for body surfing as well as keeps you cool in the heat of the day. The Royal Service beach area is also served by a super pool for RS guests only (and no children allowed in it) and is near to the RS restaurant – we tried this once (breakfast), it was OK but we preferred the regular buffet breakfast area and didn’t mind eating with the plebs.
The regular pool is vast and very nice with two swim up bars. We used it once, the rest of the time we use the RS pool which has a swim up bar.
Was generally good as Dominican resorts go, shows tended to start 15 mins. or so late (around 10:15pm) and lasted an hour.
We found that many of the staff, particularly the senior staff and desk staff, spoke English either very well or fluently. Even the maid spoke some English. Also, if you have Spanish it goes a long way too. No language problems.
One evening our door lock malfunctioned, but after I contacted the front desk they were there really fast and I left a security guard in charge so as not to miss the show, had a replacement key and had no problems getting back in. Fast and efficient service.
The resort is large and there’s a shuttle “train” that plies between the reception area and the beach area. Service is frequent, but, it only takes about 5-10 minutes to walk it.
There isn’t much to see outside the resort. There are two casinos, one on the resort and another next door. We are not casino people so didn’t bother. We went on a snorkeling trip off the resort – swam with sting rays and sharks – was well worth the US$89 per person.
Bottom Line: This resort is exceptionally good and we thought the Royal Service well worth it considering we were there in Canadian March break week.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Pepi New York
We travelled to The Paradisus Resort in Punta Cana on March 31 2007 and returned April 7 2007. Since we went to renew our weddings vows on the beach after 25 years of marriage, my wife and I brought along 11 other friends and family.
I can say without any reservations that we all had a wonderful time. I should add that this was our second time here and that we bought the vacation club (time share) package last time we were here (its more than paid for itself). we are the people you see with the yellow bands instead of brown on our wrists.
Now onto to the review and tips part.
1- The food and drinks are good, they by themselves are not 5 star but then again if you wanted to go to a place with 5 star restuarants and bars, you wouldn't be going to an all-inclusive and it would be costing you considerably more than Paradisus. Living close to NYC has spoiled us as far as good food but even with NYC setting the bar the food was still good. My personal favorite is Albufera. You need to make rservations at a few of the restuarants, particularly the indoor ones. Men will also need long pants at the indoor restuarants. The beer is primarily Presidente which is pretty good and they aslo had Heineken. The liquors were pretty top shelf, although the selection of top shelf liquors is limited to the most popular. Our friends were drinking Skyy vodka and my wife Chivas.
2- When we got there our check in was fairly quick and easy, we were 13 with
4 separate rooms but it still went relatively painless and the lobby bar is right behind you so you can grab something to drink and start to relax.
3- The rooms were ready and clean by the time we checked and although some say the decor is a bit worn, its not terrible. Make sure you leave the a/c on to remove the humidity, its the caribbean remember. Since it was just my wife and I in one room, we had one huge bed, it was a bit firm for my taste but it didn't affect my sleeping at all.
4- The grounds in my opinion are gorgeuos especially since you don't have a high rise building over shadowing everything. Guys, you should check out how they do the edging...with a machete by hand, thank god for power trimmers.
Everything is maintained very nicely and is spotless. I don't think anybody can complain about the grounds.
5- The pool is huge and very clean, there are coves where you can almost isolate yourself from the rest of the pool. They have covered beds all around that are the ultimate in relaxation but you had better get up in the morning to reserve one. If you plan on staying by the pool and will need chairs, then the same thing applies. The pool bar is fun, you can hang out and meet people and listen to some music. The music can sometimes get loud (or I'm getting old), if you ask they'll turn it down a bit for you. The only thing I wish was that it was open a little later, it closes at 6 pm.
Get to know the bartenders and tip them (more on this later) and you'll never have an empty drinking hand.
6- The beach is wide and clean. There are huts that you can hide from the sun under and plenty of chairs. we only had to reserve chairs one day when the resort was packed with some of the locals that were there for a day, they have to leave by 10 pm and they were fine, they actually have to pay more to get in than us, i guess this keeps the riff raff out. when we first got there the waves were pretty strong which i like but I can see how some wouldn't. Also the first couple of days there was a lot of seaweed, i guess there were storms at sea. I can't exactly blame this on the resort as the have no control over nature. They have Merengue lessons, volleyball, beach Olympics and various other activities on the beach and of course, they have a bar. This bar is actually kind of new as it wasn't their the last time we were here. It was fantastic, nice quiet music, couches all around where you can kick back and get out of the sun and talk or just relax.
7- The lobby is beautiful plenty of places to sit or stroll around. Did i mention the lobby bar? coldest beer on the property. The stage for the shows is located just off the side of the lobby area as is the Fun Pub (disco). I didn't watch any shows this time around, preferring to have cigar and bourbon out on one of the couches. One complaint I do have is that there is very little to do for the teenagers, must be 18 to get into the Fun Pub, we mentioned it to the manager and he said they have plans to do something about that. That being said, my 17 year old son had no issues having fun as did my 22 year old daughter. By the way if you happen to get out of the club at 2am or so, go have some pizza at La dolce Vita, the Italian place, makes for a great night sleep.
8- Royal Service or no? Up to you, for us we didn't think it was worth the extra money, check out what you get and you make up your own mind.
Things to expect, especially for you Americans:
There will be people smoking...lots...the cigarettes and cigars are free. i found most smokers were considerate and refrained from smoking next to you in the restuarants. For the most part though, the place is so wide open that the smoke shouldn't be an issue.
TIP...TIP...TIP...TIP I can't say this enough, yes it is an all-inclusive but the people that work there make an average of $300.00 a month for about 60 hours a week of work. A couple of dollars here and there could be the difference between a killer vacation and a miserable. Besides, if you can't afford $100 in tips for the workers, then maybe, just maybe you shouldn't be going on vacation.
The ratio of nationalities according to some managers I spoke to is approximately 80% Spaniards, 10% North Americans and 10% South Americans.
the lesson to be had here is, learn a few words in Spanish, it'll make your life easier and they'll appreciate the fact that you are trying. You are not in the USA, you are in a country whose official language is Spanish, if you go to Italy do you expect the Italians to know English?
I'm not going to go into the whole ugly american thing because truthfully the idiots, morons and just plain old rude people came in all shapes, sizes and nationalities. So just try not to be one of them, you are there to relax and have some fun, being rude and stupid will not accomplish this.
As far as getting into and out of the D.R. well it is what it is, no worse and no better than any other third world country, how ever do keep in mind that you have to pay $10 to get into the country.
I hope this was a little helpful in planning your vacation.
PS: The time share thing is actually a good deal for a lot of people, especially if you plan to do a least one major vacation a year. As i said before, we bought one 4 years ago and it paid itself off in 2. They are building a new area just for vacation club members that should be open by November of 07. check it out, you might be pleasantly surprised
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Linda and Dick
My family and I ( ages 56, 54, 25, 23) spent a week at the Punta Cana at the beginning of January, 2007. In our opinion, the Punta Cana is not a 5 star resort and is not worth the money.
Rooms - definitely in need of a face list. The decor & decorations were outdated and worn. Our sheets were very thin and had holes in them. The mattresses were hard and uncomfortable. The in-room refrigerator barely kept anything cool. The AC did work well & housekeeping did a good job.
Beach - was often too windy to sit at and the waves were so rough that we usually were not allowed to take any water sports equipment out.
Pool - loud music blasting constantly make it unpleasant to sit there.
Gym - small and dirty. Very few classes offered. Limited number of machines and some were broken. The "instructor" was unfriendly and ignored most clients.
Activities - minimal, the staff seemed indifferent.
Bars - very smoky due to the free cigars & cigarettes. The mixed drinks were awful and the beer and wine were just okay.
Food - The buffet had the same food every day & most of it was mediocre. Since any fish at the buffet smelled "fishy", we were afraid to try the seafood restaurant. The Italian, French and Japanese were okay, but we thought the Chinese restaurant was terrible. We thought the food was poor compared to other all-inclusive resorts we have stayed at. Our kids couldn't wait to come home and eat decent food.
Service - a mixed bag. Some people were very good, but the majority of the staff could have cared less.
Golf - the best part of the resort.
Excursions - we did not do any extra paid activities as everyone we talked to had complaints.
The resort seems to cater to South Americans and East Europeans. We found cigar and cigarette smoke bothersome, even on the beach sometimes. You can get by with minimal Spanish, but don't expect the staff to speak any English.
In summary, we found the Punta Cana to be very disappointing and not worth it's price. We most definitely will not be going back!
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Matt & Val Ohio
My wife and I made our 11th trip to PC October30 through November 2nd. We like a lot of things that the DR offers. For a long time we have wanted to stay at the Paradisus but did not due to the expense when compared to other resorts most of which we have enjoyed We finally splurged on the Paradisus Punta Cana.
Since we went in early November it was not crowded but we still feel we were able to experience the place in a way comparable to other resorts. Without question we have been of the opinion that the beach is by far the best at this resort. We went to the Princess last year since it is next door and enjoys the same spot on Bavaro Beach. It is much cheaper. It does not compare. The Paradisus hogs a great deal of the beach as it spreads very wide as opposed to newer resorts that run deep and away from the beach rather than across. The beachfront must be three times that of the new Princess next door ( not the Bavaro Princess but another name I can’t recall) and that of the Riu and Iberostar resorts when you factor in the number of suites. It is so blue and beautiful, almost like Hawaii and has much less seaweed than the areas south or north. They also have extremely nice beach furniture and umbrella huts, even if you don’t purchase Royal Service. Royal service looks very nice with their own pool and all but it just is not necessary. Several lounge beds which are about 4x that of a king size bed can be found on the beach and near the pool. An excellent option to just konk out as they are flat and comfortable. One other thing is the music, which is very tame, comes through speakers disguised as rocks so as not to ruin the effect of the setting. They have captured all the comforts of the beach as the bar and restroom are very close as well.
In addition to having an excellent beach, the pool is also outstanding. Numerous trees and bushes surround the large pool giving it a lagoon effect. It has the typical pool bar and several shallow raised areas to recline while being out on an island. It is only about 8 inches deep so you can lay back and enjoy the sun and water. The pool rivals any I have encountered including Secrets.
The food was a little better than the other resorts but not so much so as to go for this reason. I really can’t expand on this other than to say it is above average for PC. The low price places are a challenge in this area. We have stayed at places where you could not find much at all to enjoy. The Barcelo had meat so tough you could chew it for ten minutes and never get it to a point where it is comfortable to swallow. There were good assortments of meat, fish, and chicken in addition to salads and cheeses. As is usually the case, the buffets are as good or better than the sit downs. There is also the option of room service. We used this after happy hour at the pool. It is nice to stay in the room and relax with dinner. Alcohol included many fine choices such as tanqueray and Jack Daniels.
The clientele is definitely more European and South American. We encountered no problems. Truth be told we usually have more complaints about ************ as they tend to think everything should be geared towards them and they also make up the majority of loud drunks at the pool bar. Having a good time is one thing, causing a scene is another. It may have been the price of the place or the off season but in either case we really did appreciate the guest and their behavior. The flip side of that is the fact that the place was relatively dead at night. We went to the disco one evening and there were about six people in total.
I would not hesitate for a second to return to this resort but the price to stay here is a deterent. The Melia Caribe is about 40% less in cost but very nice in all matters that count. The food is every bit as good and maybe better. The alcohol is about the same but the beach can’t match the Paradisus.
My Wife and I recently went on our honeymoon to Punta Cana and decided to stay at Paradisus.
Firstly, we did not encounter many people at the resort that spoke any english or knew many (what we would think would be) common English terms. We went the second week of July which was a huge mistake. It was more humid there than I have ever experienced and we live on the east coast so it was unbearable some days... We later learned that July & August are their most uncomfortable months (duh).
Not much air-conditioning other than your room and a few of the restaurants that required 3-4 days notice to get reservations. We were only there for 5 days.
Almost all structures are open-air huts. Pleasing the eyes but even at night, it was very sticky and not enjoyable. I got very dehydrated and towards the end of the week could not drink any alcohol or even eat the food... The food was very good and tasty overall but for whatever reason, did not agree with me. My stomach was uneasy after about the second day on... Everything just has a slightly different taste to it, the meats, cheeses, etc. We found ourselves in our room alot but that's not what we went there for. The beaches were great, the place really is a Paradise. We were really disappointed with the beer and alcohol selection. Maybe we were nieve to think that a "all-inclusive 5-star resort" would serve all well-known name brand beers and alcohol. Instead we got "El-Presidente" Beer and Dominicano liquors which were very limited.
They charged some very high prices for other services that were not included. The room was ok. Things were old and outdated but the room was pretty spacious and had a good view. The grounds were immaculate and very well taken care of. Room service stunk - Could really not even understand what you wanted to order...
We tipped but in hindsight wish we wouldn't have as alot of the service was not that great. After meeting another couple honeymooning later in the week, we found out they had a night where all honeymooners met on the beach for drinks and socializing. We were not told about this from the front desk upon check in even after we asked for upgrade because of our honeymoon and girl would not accomodate us - Even though they upgraded other couples... Made us a little upset!
A few suggestions:
Don't let them con you into a Sales presentation on buying their timeshare
Learn a little bit of Spanish because they aren't going to know much english
Go on several "excursions"
Take plenty of Pepto Bismal and/or tums with you
Overall we had fun and do not regret the experience or leaving the country for our honeymoon although we will probably never go back to Paradisus and will be a long while before we go to D.R. again
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
I am writing you as we just came back from the Paradisus Punta Cana. We traveled there July 19 throuth the 25th 2006 with our family for our annual family reunion which we do each year at a different location. There were 33 of us in our group. On arrival we had no trouble getting from the airport to the resort. In the lobby they had our rooms ready for check-in and we went through the procedure of loading our luggage onto the trams to be taken to our rooms. This resort is spread out and your room can be as much as 1/2 mile from the hotel lobby.
We all had Jr. Suites reserved and several of our group had to immediately return to the lobby as there rooms had visible mold on the walls and in the "bathrooms" and had a moldy odor in the rooms. Although the resort advertized that it was recently renovated the renovation was clearly what is known as a "soft renovation" paint and cosmetic upgrades only as the rooms, furnishings and fixtures are old and pretty worn. The junior suites had sufficient room however, there are no doors on any of the bathrooms and only a saloon style swinging 1/2 door seperating the toilet and tub from the sink. There is basically NO privacy when using the bathroom!
From the time you arrive until the time you leave you will be bombarded with people trying to sell you tours, excersions and time share sessions! They seem to be allowed to roam freely about the resort and prey on the guests at every turn. We were approached at least 5-6 times each day and it gets real old, real fast!
The restaurants at this resort were somewhat dissappointing and I would rate them as 2-3 stars none of them were 5 star! We ate at the buffet for breakfast as that is all there is for breakfast! The food on the buffet was just OK not great, but not horrible. We also ate in all of the speciality restaurants except the Brazilian one. Unfortunately, after our group dined at the Japanese restaurant 10 of the 33 in our group became very, very ill! The "montazuma revenge" lasted for over a week for some after leaving the resort and the medication Imodium did not help much! We all were extremely careful too, drinking only bottled water or beer, brushing our teeth with bottled water, not eating the uncooked salads etc. and we still got sick!
I also thing that the rule that men must wear long pants to dinner is NUTS! Many of the restaurants have outdoor seating without air conditioning. It cools off to a comfortable 85 degrees and no breeze at night in the summer time here and 90% humidity. I have difficulty enjoying my meal as the sweat is dripping from my nose onto my dinner plate!
I must comment that the employees at this resort were wonderful! They were very friendly, and pleasant. They greeted you with a smile and the restuarant personnel were well trained and attentive. They earned their 5 star rating!
The trams are the only way to get around at this resort unless walking up to a mile back and forth from your room to anywhere in 95 degree heat and 100% humidity is something you enjoy! The trams run somewhat infrequently about every 10 to 15 minutes and are in poor condition. Twice while our group was on them they had mechanical trouble. On one the engine blew and we had to walk and the second the front wheel came flying off and the tram came to a sparking and screeching halt. Fortunately, there were no injuries!
The spa is small, expensive and poorly air conditioned. There is an exercise room with a universal system that is in very poor condition with several of the workout stations broken. The spa has a two chair beauty salon and two very tiny treatment rooms. If you want to sit or lie in the heat and get a manicure for $35.00 or a 40 minute massage for $80.00 be my guest!
The beach is really the best part of this resort it is beautiful! White sand, clear clean water and not a shell, rock or stone in the swimming area. There were ample beach chairs and cabanas if you wanted to stay out of the sun and still enjoy the beach. It was the one place where there was a nice breeze almost all the time.
I would have to say that this resort is far from it's overall five star rating and is in serious need of a major renovation on all of it's rooms. As for the restuarants it is clear that the resort needs an Executive Chef that can hire the right people and knows what is required food quality and preperation wise to have 5 star restaurants. The service was 5 star, the cuisine quality and presentation was far from it!
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
My wife and I were at this Resort from April 21st to April 28th 2006.
We are from Canada and traveled via Sun Wing Vacations from Ottawa direct to Punta Cana. This was our 8th trip to the Caribbean since 1998, all at various All Inclusive resorts. We booked Royal Service, had an excellent room in building No. 30 and thought the extra price was well worth it, especially for access to the Royal Service beach area, private pool, dinner reservations every night and the Royal Service lounge.
Other than the flight times with Sun Wing, which got changed just before we were to leave, arrived around Midnight in Punta Cana and retuned to Ottawa the next week arriving at approx. 5:00 a.m., this was a very good vacation and we believe this resort deserves it’s 5 Star rating. We would definitely recommend this resort but would not fly Sun Wing again. As others have noted this is a very large resort, and you can walk a lot. However there are trams running all day and most of the restaurants and activities are along the water and beach areas, so you don’t have to venture to the Resort lobby if it is too far.
Rooms: are very nice, Royal Service rooms have a whirlpool tub and a large sitting area. The mini bar could have been stocked with beer but you only had to call Room Service to get whatever you wanted.
Restaurants: We tried the Steak House, Italian(this was the best one), Gourmet (French), Mexican & Seafood restaurants along with the two Buffet restaurants and enjoyed all except for the Seafood ( which is served Buffet style and was cold ).
Beach: The highlight of Punta Cana is the Beach, and the Royal Service area including the private pool is the best we have encountered.
Service: is excellent in all areas of this resort, the Royal Service staff need a little polishing around the edges but are quite helpful.
Shopping: both on the beach and about a 15 minute walk from the Hotel is adequate for any minor souvenirs you want and you need to discuss price at the stores outside the Resort area. Where price is not indicated 50 – 60 % of asking price is easy to get.
An excellent resort – however we hear that the new “ Paradisus Palma Real “ in Punta Cana which is also operated by Sol Melia is even better. I think we may try it at some point.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
This was my first trip ever to the DR, and I must say, it was overall, a very pleasurable experience, and would go back. I booked my trip thru a well-known website and added the from/to hotel transportation transfer (tour
company) to the package, requesting a non-smoking room and following the website's direction to contact the resort directly about this via e-mail (which I did). I took a small carry-on to avoid the wait at the belt, but observed other travelers quickly getting theirs. I traveled single, and am a relatively attractive 47 year old female living in South Florida. I do speak fluent Spanish (not because of my living in SoFla for over 36 years, but because I was born in Cuba). I do feel that generally this was a plus and that I received warmer treatment because of it and also facilitated communication issues. The arrival and departure process at the airport was orderly and swift. There is a US$10 tourist tax which must be paid in cash upon entry and before you're allowed to exit the airport. The van I rode in both coming and going was air conditioned and adequate. This all-inclusive resort was clean, the grounds beautifully kept and the check-in process was fine. You will be given you a wrist identifying band to wear at all times, which they will later, as you leave, cut off and give back to you, if you want it. You will also be offered a safe (there's one in all rooms)key for your valuables, free of charge. There is a narrow (about 8 feet or so) walk path leading to the bungalows/accommodations, restaurants, pool, etc., which is also used as a service road. This, in my opinion, was a total turn-off.
Guests and their luggage are also loaded on covered open vehicles and taken to their rooms using this road. My room (number 1226) was not ready when it was supposed to be -check in time is 3PM- as evidence of prior guests' use still existed when I opened the door, with the maid showing up right after, and worse, reeked of cigarette smoke. Rode back with luggage to front desk to address this issue. Was told the resort does not have smoke free rooms, but that it would be desanitazed to remove the smell. By this time I was hungry, so I went to get something to eat. Upon arrival back at my room everything was satisfactory, even the cigarette smell was gone. Red flower petals were left on tops on towels in the bathroom, and all was clean and tidy, except for some of the floor areas near the beds. There was plenty of room and drawers to store items just outside the bathroom, hangers to use in the closet, the bathtub was clean and deep, plenty of hot water and pressure for showering. There was even an umbrella in the closet. The bath towels were huge (more like bath sheets.) The mini bar (which was a refrigerator) did not work, and contained only water and sodas. The balcony light also was not operational and although this was reported, it was never addressed.
The remote control for the relatively small TV set was also broken. As far as food goes, the best meals were offered at the breakfast and lunch buffets. Not all restaurants are open at all times, and two require reservations. I am not much of an alcohol drinker, but feel the best bets were beer and wine (as opposed to margaritas and pina coladas). At the italian restaurant for lunch I ordered the vanilla ice cream listed as such on the menu and got what tasted like corn ice cream instead, but was not so advised by the server. The second time I ordered it the very friendly lady who brought it indeed let me know that it was corn ice cream, not vanilla.
I booked a massage by the beach (cheaper than at the spa) which felt more like a lotion rub-down, but the charge of US$60 for an hour was worth it.
The spa contained a steam room, sauna and two huge clean jacuzzis (one for use by couples), and offered the usual services. The jacuzzi's temperature was at best between 80-90 degrees, but by the time I used it I was already sunburned, and therefore glad it was not too hot. There was also a small
(unheated) pool and a workout room (which looked well equipped, although I did not use it) and spinning classes were available daily at 6 PM. The resort's main pool was beautifully laid out and clean, although not deeper than 5 1/2 feet anywhere. The casino lacked atmosphere, was very bright and very empty. They will attempt to get you to attend presentation tours to sell you some type of membership to the Sol Melia resorts, but that's typical and I expected it. There are plenty of tours and excursions
available (extra charges) and nightly entertainment (which I skipped). The
purpose of my trip was merely to relax and read by the beach and pool.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Norma and Mike NB Canada
We traveled April 20/06 until April 27/06 to Paradisus Punta Cana and had an absolutely wonderful time. This is our third time to the Paradisus and it has never failed to impress us and make us feel welcome. When we arrived at noon, our room was not ready so we went to Dolce Vito for lunch, had a great pizza and when we returned the room was ready. We were pleasantly surprised to receive a bottle of champagne and a fruit basket and an upgrade to Royal Service, which was lovely, robes and slippers as well. What a nice surprise for us.
The food was terrific, we especially enjoyed the steak house and the French restaurant, and my absolutely favorite place to have lunch the Italian restaurant. They serve great pizzas and pasta and good wine. We thoroughly enjoyed everything.
There were mosquitoes in our room that bit me every night. That sort of surprised us as we have not seen mosquitoes here before. We didn’t spend a lot of time in our room, it was either golfing or beaching. The water was beautiful, a little rough but great to play in which we did every day.
The rooms are really nice. We had a junior suite with a king size bed and we found the whole room very comfortable.
For those golfers who want to know about Cocotal Golf Course, I don’t think you could find a better course in the Caribbean. We played with a gentleman from Vancouver who had been going to Mexico for the last ten years. He had been invited to a wedding in Punta Cana and had the opportunity to play Cocotal a few times. He said he would never go back to Mexico, he had been paying over $200 for courses that were nowhere near as nice or as in good shape and he got the green fees as part of his package.
We had an opportunity to play all three nines and found them all to be in great shape and as well groomed as any courses we have played in North America. The staff at the clubhouse were very helpful and the facilities excellent.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
About Us: I am 41 and my wife is 39; both working professionals. We also
brought out 12-year-old daughter and our 2-½ year old son. We reside
within the United States. I have traveled to China, Singapore, many
countries in Europe, Canada, just about every state in the Unites States,
the Bahamas and more. This was the first time taking the children out of
the U.S. in preparation for more extensive trips the years to come. I should mention my wife speaks a little Spanish and I the typical common words.
The Resort: Paradisus Punta Cana as a whole was wonderful. The property is very large and full of wonderful landscaping that will just draw you in. As soon as we set foot off the bus from the airport, an employee took our luggage and then moved it to one location. He then motioned us to follow him and took us to a pedestal with a list of names on an 8x12 sheet of paper – this was a list of the Royal Service residents. When I told him that our family name was on the paper, he quickly waived down another employee, spoke a little Spanish, loaded our luggage and directed us to get on the cart as well. Needless to say, my first tip went in that direction. We were then whisked away to the Royal Service check in.
The Other Guests: There were a couple of the “Ugly Americans” making their presence well known – these people disgust me. Otherwise, the other guests were wonderful. I had conversations with people from Germany, Australia, Canada, England, and of course, the U.S.
The Rooms: We were in building 30, second floor and room #8. This translates to 2308. The building was right on the beach and we had a view of the beach as well as the Garden Villa right across from us. I will admit that I was a little disappointed in the room. The sleeping area, sitting area, and balcony were not bad. The bathroom area was in need of some attention. The dark wood that they used to create makeshift shelves and shutter type doors really dulled down the area and was not pleasing to the eye.
Also, the first thing I noticed when walking into the room was an odor. I know I smelled that odor before, but where? It wasn’t until I was changing
my son’s diaper that I remembered where. I don’t think the odor originated
in the room as I also noticed it outside while walking to the room one day.
Perhaps because our bungalow was right next to another resort, there was some sort of septic/sewage system close by and the use of the air conditioner brought that stench into our room. Add to this the tropical climate and the odor/musty smell was very evident throughout the room. It also remained in our luggage for a week or so after returning.
Also, the beds are VERY hard. The padding and carpeted floors in our house seem to be more comfortable than the beds.
Overall, room was OK. After all, the room is NOT why you go to Punta Cana.
I think the ONLY thing you will have as an advantage with Royal Service is location to the beach. The bungalow was close to the beach, but it was the farthest away from everything else – as far as Royal Service is concerned.
The Food: This is the area we had the biggest concern over. Not so much for my wife and I, but for our children. All I can say is WOW! What a selection. We had reservations for the Italian, Japanese, and the Steak House. We went to the Italian place and found that we were not doing a service to other guests around us with our son, so we decided to cancel our other reservations. We did not want to ruin anyone else’s experience. The Italian food we did eat was wonderful.
We decided to stick with the buffet as we can eat and leave at our pace with minimal disruption. My daughter is convinced that they have the best French toast at the Hibiscus as well as the best pasta dishes.
The Drinks: El Presidente!! My wife ordered a few of the tropical type drinks (margaritas, daiquiris, etc) but thought the alcohol was way too much.
The Service: I hear tipping goes a long way. I brought $200 in ones to tip so that we can get greater “Royal Service” attention. I left a $5 tip each day for the maid service and also requested that the mini bar be filled with
4 Presidente and 4 bottles of water each day. This NEVER occurred. We
did order room service once and the pizza and Presidente were delivered real quick. All and all, I was eager to give out all the ones I had brought. I tipped $2 each time and only handed out a total of $40 in ones and 4 $5 bills to the maids.
The Royal Service check in was excellent and the people there were very accommodating to the demands of my 2-year-old son when he blurted out, “I want some milk!”
The Employees: Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!! In less than a day, they had my 2 year old saying HOLA to everyone! They would hold up their hands
requesting a “high five” from my son and they ALWAYS had a smile! If I did
not know how to say something in Spanish, they would do their best to determine what my need was and teach me a little Spanish as well.
I even had the opportunity to view them putting up with a couple of “Ugly Americans” and they maintained their composure and dignity. Something we could all learn from.
KUDOS to the wonderful people of the Paradisus Punta Cana!
The Beach: WOW! What a wonderfully maintained beach. I got up early one morning to watch the sunrise and to snap some photos. The employees were out cleaning all the seaweed off the beach so that it was clean for the guests. The chaises were lined up each night as guests made their way to dinner and they had security on the beach all night.
The water was beautiful, inviting, and fun!
Caution: I found the morning sun to be more brutal than the afternoon! We typically did the beach in the morning and the pool in the afternoon that may be part of the reason. However, it did cloud up in the afternoon providing a little more protection.
The Pool: I have never seen such a wonderful pool. Cleaned every night and ready for guests first thing in the morning. Pool hours were from 8am to 6pm. This pool was HUGE! At one point, there must have been at least 100 guests in this pool and I had no problem getting around and playing with my children.
The Activities: Did not participate in much as this was a family chill week and that is all we did!
The Worst: Leaving Punta Cana. Not that we would miss the place, but the airport was a complete nightmare!! We arrived at the airport at noon for a flight at 2:15.
It took forever to get through the Delta check in. They manually check each piece of checked luggage. Our luck had us stuck behind a family of 6 who tried to arrange to have all their seats next to each other during the whole trip back. FYI to the Ugly American….DO THIS BEFORE YOU LEAVE!!
Once we went through check in, we were all “corralled” into another area that prepped us for check through customs. When I say “corralled” I mean just that. There was no line, just a big mass of people pushing towards a gate that was blocked by officials. At this time, we had been standing in the airport for more than an hour. There is no air conditioner, there is no vending machines for water, and it was HOT!! I was very concerned about the health of my children and nobody cared. We just stood there with HUNDREDS of other people at the mercy of the customs people.
After getting through the corral gate, we then stood in one of four lines (yep, that was all they had for the hundreds if not more than a thousand people ready to leave the island) for another 40 minutes. After that, we had to stand in ANOTHER line to go through passport/boarding pass check and through the metal detectors. If it weren’t for the Delta rep coming through and calling for Delta passengers, we would have been in that line for another hour. Instead, it was only 15 minutes as they shuffle us to the front.
All in all, it took us more than 2 hours in the heat of the airport to run to our plane that had already boarded.
This experience alone was enough to ruin our vacation. I will NEVER complain of the lines at O’Hare, LaGuardia, or Frankfurt again! NEVER!!
In Conclusion: On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give the resort experience alone a 3. I have never experienced a 5 as I feel these type of place “anticipate” your needs and react.
The combined experience of the DR from beginning to end was about a 2.5.
Would I recommend the Paradisus Punta Cana – YES! Would I return? Well, we decided that the DR was good for once every 3 years or so and that we would probably try another resort the next time.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
My husband and I traveled to the Paradisus Punta Cana Resort in the Dominican Republic this past March. Here are our thoughts:
1. Keep about $100 in tips with you. This is a poor country, and we began tipping from the beginning of our trip (people gave the attendant in the bathroom tips in her basket at the Punta Cana Airport) to the end.
2. This staff at the resort speaks very little English, a surprising fact given that over half the guests who were there during our trip were American and Canadian. Brush up on your Spanish before you leave.
3. Should you do Royal Service or not? We decided to spend the extra money and do it, just to see what it was like. When we arrived, they told us Royal service was "full" and "oops, someone overbooked it." So we met with the hotel manager, we met with the Prieto tours rep, and we met yet again with the hotel manager (these meetings took place from the evening we got there to the morning after we arrived!). We were finally able to make a deal- we got the service but not one of the royal service rooms, which were clustered around the royal service pool/area, and paid half price instead of full. This meant we could go to the "special" pool with its nice cabanas, drink at the "special" bar, eat breakfast at the "special" breakfast area, and make a reservation for dinner, which came in handy for the popular restaraunts, like the Japanese. Was it worth it? I don't know. The Royal Service concierges tried to be helpful, but again, the language barrier was a problem- they acted like they understood us, but we know they didn't when our requests were not fulfilled. I probably wouldn't do this service again.
4. Side excursions- we didn't go on any. We did take a taxi into town and it was nice to wander around in the little stores, but keep in mind the vendors are very aggressive. For shopping aficionados like myself, I recommend walking on the beach (turn left out of the hotel, walk for about 10 minutes) because there is a local shopping cooperative actually set up on the beach that had the best deals.
5. This was the first trip I've taken to the Carribbean where smoking was a big problem. I just couldn't get away from the smokers- they, and their ashtrays were everywhere. It was really disgusting. The entire hotel is a carcinogenic free-for-all (I've never seen people smoke so much like that around their kids!)
6. In summery, it was a beautiful resort. Our junior suite was clean and airy. The landscaping was exceptional. The alcohol was plenty and the food was good. The evening entertainment was lively and there was dancing with the entertainment staff after the shows, which I enjoyed. The main pool was gorgeous, and they had a swim-up bar, a particular enjoyment for my husband. Would I return? No, I had a better time in the Paradisus in Costa Rica, which was on a completely different level, especially the service. But if you're going to the Dominican Republic and you like to smoke, I would go to this resort.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
R & C New England
We are well-traveled couple in our 40’s that just returned from a week at Paradisus. We thought the resort was great, and it has made it into our list of top destinations to return to. The staff is very friendly and helpful. If your grasp of Spanish is limited please do not take it out on them; you are in their country. We found that knowing a few basic words/request went a long way in getting your point across. Room service was always prompt (and giving them a $2 tip was incredibly appreciated). The grounds are beautiful; and the lobby bar is a great place to unwind. It is a large resort so getting around requires a bit of walking. We are in good physical shape so it was not a barrier for us; there were some guests (and golfers with their clubs) that took full advantage of the shuttle service that runs throughout the resort. The shuttle seemed to run pretty frequently, but if you have to wait a few minutes…what’s the rush, you’re on vacation!
The beach is beautiful with miles and miles to walk; a few time-share sales people along the way and virtually no-one hawking merchandise on the beach. It was also very safe, with beach patrol at most resorts (not that it was really necessary, from what we could see).
The food was ok, and that would be our only complaint. The buffet food was never hot enough, and not too appetizing. All of the other restaurants were ok/good, with the Italian being our favorite place to eat lunch. We did not eat at the seafood restaurant because we ran out of time. And no, we never had to wait for a table during lunch or dinner. The Japanese restaurant was so good that we went back a few nights later without reservations and had no problem getting a seat (although I would recommend securing a reservation rather than winging it).
The pool is huge with plenty of nooks and crannies to catch some sun or shade. We read so many negative reviews about the pool towels and lack of chairs at the pool; we were expecting major problems since the resort was at capacity when we were there. We had no problems with either, trading in our used pool towels at the end of the beach day and got clean ones. There were always many seats available at the pool.
We do recommend bringing $1’s with you. Although tipping is not necessary it is really appreciated. Many of these workers live 3 hours away in Santa Domingo and only get home to see their families every couple of weeks. The poverty outside of the resorts is disturbing: so if you can, give.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
D & S Long Island, NY
Just returned from a trip to the Paradisus with my family during President's week. It seemed like the resort was almost completely booked. We ended up in a room very far from the pool and beach. It would have been nicer to be closer to the amenities. The food was good, not great. We had trouble getting reservations - because apparently the Royal Service guests get first pick and as a regular guest you take was is left over. For example, we arrived at the Mexican restaurant one evening (it was empty) we were told we would have to have at least an hour, because they were holding reservations for the Royal Service guests. We found that to be ridiculous. They definitely don't speak English so brush up on your Spanish.
If you do go, I highly recommend going Royal Service - I wish we had.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
My wife, seven month old baby boy, and I spent a week at the Paridisus Punta Cana. We had never been to an all inclusive before and did not know what to expect. All in all, it was a fine resort.
The resort grounds were very beautiful. There was plenty of open space on the beach and we never had any trouble finding a little spot for the day. The pool can get a bit crowded in the day so it is worthwhile to arrive a little early if you want to get a lounge chair - some people show up really early, leave a book and towel, and claim it for the day even if they never return. While this might be clever, it is very rude to the other guests!
The food was fine, not great, but overall good quality. We were careful to not overindulge and did not have any trouble with sickness. One precaution we took with the baby which I highly recommend was to bring a hot pot and boil the water before mixing the formula, even if it is bottled. We also washed all of his bottles, spoons, etc. with boiled water and he never got sick. And of course - careful with the sun! We purchased a full length sun suit for the baby off the web which, combined with sunscreen, kept him from sunburn.
I am sure that if you look for problems at this resort you can find them. Everything is not perfect, but the people are nice, the food is good, the beach is beautiful, the activities are many, and the grounds are gorgeous. We never left the resort and had an excellent time. If you want a place to kick back, enjoy the sun and not have to worry then you should enjoy this resort. We certainly did.
P.S., we also paid a little extra for the Servcio Real (Royal Service), which I also recommend. You get a room closer to the beach, a private place to get breakfast, etc, internet access, and more personalized serivce. I thought it was worth it.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Joanne Aurora, Canada
What a mixed bunch of reviews for this resort! My husband, myself and our 11 yr. old twins splurged for a week of hopeful luxury Dec.16-23/05. Overall, we had a good week, but I wouldn't say great. This resort did not come across as a 5-star resort like others we have experienced previously. We found the value for the dollar disappointing at this Paradisus. The grounds are lush and the beach beautiful, but the resort is tired as it is 10 years old and doesn't appear to have had much refurbishment. The rooms were worn and poorly kept compared to our experience at Varadero Paradisus (that resort is a 5-star). There were ants on the bathroom counter that were never dealt with, the mirror was never cleaned, we had to continually ask for sufficient towels and there was a clear lack of face-cloths. I found many simple things disappointing like thin sheets, and ripped and tattered pillowcases. Another disappointment was the lack of English spoken and the apparent unwillingness of the staff to try to help if your Spanish was limited. We realized that if you had no Spanish, you definitely missed out on things. If we'd known how to ask, there was many more things that were actually available; ie. cereal. Also disappointing was the lack of activities for younger kids. Other resorts we've experienced have offered things/activities to join in each 1/2 hour ... not the case here. Our children basically stayed with us, read, and played in the pool (which is lovely) ... I was hoping there would be more options available to them. A clear annoyance was the loud music always playing at the swim-up bar. If you wanted a little peace around the pool, you had to find a spot well away from the bar. Also disappointing was having the evening shows not begin until 10:15pm, which makes it late for kids.
On the more positive side, the restaurants and food were very good. My husband and I enjoyed all the food we tried and had absolutely no difficulty with either food or water upset. Our children are "selective" eaters and definitely struggled to find foods to their liking. The kids existed on bread, buns, some cold meat and cheeses, pasta and pizza. Bottled water and bottled pop was always available for the asking. There was always availability of lounges at both the pool and beach, and we found both the pool and ocean very warm. We did not take advantage of either the golfing or horse-back riding, but those that did found it enjoyable. We did enjoy the inclusive snorkeling excursion, the inclusive boat trip to the local market, as well as a boat trip out to the partially sunken tanker. I took 100 $1. US bills for tipping ... and we selectively tipped those staff that were helpful and friendly. Unfortunately, the substantial tip to the room staff did not seem to make any difference. I personally found the quality of the beach and the lush, tropical growth compensated for many of the other disappointments. Other nearby resorts (many also rated 5-star) did appear to be superior and newer, and for a lower cost!!! Paradisus Punta Cana did not strike us as a 5-star resort, but we did enjoy ourselves and had a good relaxing week. Would we return to the Dominican Republic - probably, but we would not pay the high cost of this resort ... we think there is better value available.
I'd recommend Paradisus Varadero highly, and my brother just returned from Paradisus Costa Rica and had a tremendous holiday!
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
NEVER AGAIN!!! We picked this resort based on many good reviews on your website, what a mistake!! I'll try to make it short and sweet: NOV. 2005 trip: Our check-in time was 3:00, we did not check in until 7:30 pm after we had a screaming match with an arrogant manager. The room was nothing great, it had bugs on the dresser, a rundown bathroom with rundown furniture, a broken safe and a "saloon" style door for bathroom privacy! Around 10:00 pm there was a black out -- no lights, no emergency generator, no flashlights, NOTHING!! Therefore, no A/C either! This went on all night, so from the lobby (where the show was cancelled due to the blackout) we had to walk 1/4 mile back to our rooms in the pitch black and then the keys (slide cards) did not work in the doors because of??? dead batteries perhaps??? Next day, still no electric which meant no towels at the pool because nothing got washed the night before, no music at the bar and no blender drinks. At least the sun was out!! By the next day, 7 out of 8 in my party has severe dysentary, perhaps from spoiled food??? Many other things occurred in between, especially dealing with rude and ignorant staff members, but that is the main jist of our getaway weekend.....Believe it or not we went back in January 2006 to the Melia Tropical and had a wonderful time -- courteous staff, decent food, decent rooms (no bugs)....would recommend this 4 star resort anyday over that PHONY 5 star resort!!
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
We just returned from 7 days at the Paradisus in Punta Cana. This place was absolutely incredible! We have traveled before, cruised and nothing compares to the week we had at the Paradisus. Everyone we talked to (with the exception of one couple) loved it and said they would return. We didn't get sick nor did anyone we heard of. They really take extra steps to protect the visitors so all the food, deserts, drinks, and even the table water are from a bottled source. The food was great! Our favorites were Chinese, Italian and Brazilian but all were superb. Staff was so friendly, helpful and fun. Approximately one in five spoke English "well" but most knew enough to be helpful. There are trams constantly running but we waited as long as 15 minutes at times. Truth is, nothing is more than a 5 minute walk anywhere on the property. We understand that the Paradisus Costa Rica and Puerto Rico are even nicer! The new Paradisus Palm Real that opened in December looks very nice too.
Advice #1: Take $100 in singles. Money talks; even at an all-inclusive. Leave $1 for the maid and she'll leave fresh flowers. Give the bartender a $10 at the beginning of the week and you'll never want! They make so little that a couple of dollars goes a long way.
Advice #2: There will be employees asking for 1 hour of your time to sell you a "time share" program. They'll give you a voucher towards a spa or hotel shop just for listening to the pitch. Don't take anything less than $75. If you avoid them, they'll hound you all week. Just give them 30 minutes and take the voucher.
The only mistake we made was not staying for 2 weeks….
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
We just wanting to let everyone know that we stayed at at the Paradisus Resort in the Dominican Republic in Nov. We had an amazing time and have recommended this resort to everyone we know. We liked the food, especially the Japanese restaurant and there was not a problem getting chairs on the beach as we had read. It did come in handy to take our own cups as the ones they use are fairly small. We liked the buffets for quick early meals since the others didn't open until 7 pm and ordered pizzas to take out to the beach during the day. The pool area was amazing and although we spent most of the time at the beach this pool is not one to miss. Our room was cleaned and restocked and ready to go everyday. We took a translator to help with any requests needed in the room. That came in fairly handy.
So, go have fun and enjoy this beautiful island. The water was incredible and the resort was first class!
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
This resort was good, but it wasn't the five-star experience we had hoped for. Although the resort offers a lot of "high-end" inclusive services (golf, snorkelling & scuba excursions, horseback riding, ecological park etc), delivery on some of the basic five-star services fell a little short for us.
The Paradisus is a very large resort and services are scattered throughout. The property is very lush, beautiful and well maintained, but is full of meandering paths that look the same, it is easy to become disoriented and not know where the lobby or the beach is. More signage is required at room exits and path intersections. The lobby is a significant distance from the room accommodation (due to a large mangrove swamp) and a shuttle bus service is provided between the lobby, accommodations and the beach. The buses were driven very fast and recklessly during the first few days of our stay, raising safety concerns for passengers, but suddenly the drivers settled down for the duration of our stay. It takes a few days to figure out the routes of the shuttle buses and where they go, you can end up riding seemingly endless loops and not get to your destination. In general food and drink quality & service at the numerous bars and restaurants were excellent with lots of options. The layout of restaurants on the resort was confusing and it took a few days to figure out where they were (basically in a huge cluster by the beach, except for the excellent Mexican restaurant in the hotel lobby and the nearby Japanese restaurant). The overall property, pool and beach were beautiful and well maintained and clean, the stretch of beach in front of the Paradisus was immaculate.
Quality of accommodations was disappointing, room curtains were heavy and ugly, walls in our room were badly marked seemingly in need of a fresh coat of paint, furniture heavily nicked and scratched, small fridge (classified as minibar but contains no alcohol) was dirty and was ready to fall out of the desk it was thrown into (desk door to fridge wouldn't close), and clothes closet shelves were poorly finished particle board, not furniture grade wood. The stone bathroom was nicely finished and clean. A room-safe lock was not provided at check-in and when we finally got one, we were told we were lucky because it was the last lock available on the resort. Although we give the front desk personnel credit for their multilingual skills, communicating in English was difficult when trying to resolve problems, we have seen better.
Another disappointment for us was the lack of an Activity program. In general the Activity staff were friendly and polite and mixed amoungst the guests on the beach and around the pool. However very little effort was put into enrolling guests to participate in the simple games that were scheduled. We have found this an excellent way to meet different resort guests and to have some fun. The Activity staff repeatedly told us that the guests at this resort were too old and didn't want to play games. After the first week, we gave up trying to participate.
The hospitality accommodations for late departure guests was appallingly bad. For some reason the hotel staff use the same facility for their washroom and the facilities do not lock. Besides the sanitation concerns with such heavy traffic, we were constantly interrupted by hotel staff bursting into the room while we were showering and cleaning up.
Definitely not a bad choice if you want to eat well, drink well, and smoke well (free cigarettes) with a lot of "high-end" all-inclusive services but too big and impersonal for us.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Recently went there for a wedding and it was wonderful. Our room had no drawers – none in the bathroom either – which made for a messy room.
But apart from that, everything was great: service and amenities and food. The pool and beach are FABULOUS.
The only thing annoying was that the evening entertainment was so loud it was impossible to enjoy – but this is a problem everywhere.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
My wife and i just returned from a week at the Paradisus (oct. 22-29-05). we have been to many all inclusive resorts throughout the carribean and this was the best one yet!!!!!
We have no complaints at all. The food was so good, we were eating when we weren't even hungry!
The staff is very friendly...always smiling, dancing around and having fun.
The weather was great!!! It rained most of the first day, and that was spent in the bar....
The pool is awesome, always spotless. The grounds are a feature in it's own right. Staff always working and manicuring it to perfection. No leaf blowers or weedeaters here, no sir, all done by hand.
The beach is gorgeous. A barrier reef is about 1/4 mile off the beach, thus protecting the shoreline from large waves.
The bars are alot of fun. If you go, try the 'mamajuana'. it is a local drink made from a mixture of herbs and wood shavings with rum and honey. It is claimed to be an aphrodisiac. It is consumed like a tequila shooter.
We didn't do any of the tours, we were having too much fun being lazy!
One surprise was the number of kids at the resort. They caused no problems at all for the adults, i.e. no running around wild, screaming, etc.
This is a large property. A shuttle runs every 5-10 minutes, so it's easy to get around.
We are american, and found ourselves to be in the minority. Many German, Italian, Swedes, Brits, Spanish, Latin American. We heard every language on earth, but that kind of added to the fun. The staff doesn't speak much English, but they know enough to get by. NOTE: Why is there sooooooo much smoking still going on in the world???? Jeez, they light up constantly. The smoke was not a problem, but it just made us cringe seeing that.
There is a contingent of guys trying to sell time shares on the property. Just politely say no if you are not interested.
We visited a shopping center about a 10 minute walk from the resort. All of the shops seemed to have the same stuff. The shop owners were very pushy to get us into their shops, which was frankly a pain in the ass.
SHOP OWNERS: You are losing business by doing this!!!!!! Just let the tourists peacefully browse!!!!!
Negotiating for everything is common in these shops, except for the resort gift shop.
We were in unit 2121, a second floor corner unit close to the pool, beach, and main restaurant.
I could go on, but in closing, if you want a trouble free, all inclusive resort, PARADISUS is the one!!!
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Lisa S USA
For starters, we were there in April 2004. Some of this report is a repeat from 2004’s report since there wasn’t much changed, but there are some additions.
Air travel: Living in Niagara Falls NY, we usually travel out of Toronto, Ontario. The flights are non-stop and the Canadian exchange is nice too. This year when we booked with Air Transat Holidays we upgraded to Club Transat. Major difference and I would highly recommend it. Seating was 2-3-2 in very roomy leather seats compared to the 3-3-3 cramped seating in the remainder of the plane. Also the fast Club check in both at Toronto and Punta Cana really made the upgrade more than worth it for the fee.
* Don’t forget you’ll need $20 US CASH per person for departure tax from Punta Cana.
* We took a cab from the airport to the resort instead of waiting for the resort bus. The cab was only $22 US plus tip and we got there in about 25 minutes. Taking the bus you have to wait for all the other persons to get their luggage, get signed in and then you have to make to rounds to all the resorts for drop off, not just yours. All depends on your budget and patience either to choose the cab or not.
Resort check in: We chose the Royal Service and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Upon arrival to the resort we were taken to the Royal Service offices for check in. We arrived around 2:30 and by the time we finished our paperwork and some catch up with the staff our rooms were ready and we headed to building #30 as we had requested.
Bungalows: These are16 unit buildings, 8 to a side, 4 up & 4 down. Get 2nd floor if possible; more private and has vaulted ceilings. Also try and get the corner rooms. Their balconies wrap around the side of the buildings so you actually get two views. The rooms have a large bathroom with a separate room for the toilet and Jacuzzi tub/shower. It also contains the closets, safe, ironing board and full length mirrors. Next is the king-size bed, nightstands and dressers. Then two steps down is a sitting area with chairs, table and desk. TV is located on a ledge between the two areas so you can either watch in bed or in the sitting area. From there you lead to the balcony and a perfect view. Royal Suites are on the beach so your view is wonderful. Of course the whole resort is so beautiful and well maintained that garden view is just as great.
Restaurants: Seemed that the crowds started around 8:00-9:00 pm.
Hibiscus International Buffet. Nice selection, very fresh, made to order pasta bars. Plus large range of meats & seafood. Very nice for a more casual breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Marino Seafood: Dinner. Outside patio facing the beach. Lobster with lime was amazing. Service always smiling.
Dolce Vita (Italian): Lunch & Dinner. Starters were usually Capri salad (tomatoes and mozzarella) which was very fresh plus they brought tomato brushetta and garlic bread to the table. They have great thin-crust pizza with about any imaginable topping. Service was fast and fun although the restaurant is too lit for dinner IMHO.
Pavilion (Chinese): Dinner. Starters of dumplings were great. Service was nice.
La Romantico (French): Dinner. Had the Risotto for the main course, very nicely done. For dessert order the crepes. Don’t forget your cigars.
La Albufera (steak house): Didn’t do this time. (See 2004 report for details).
Rodizzio (Brazil): Didn’t do this time. (See 2004 report for details).
Antojitos (Mexican): Dinner. Great food and wonderful, fun service. Taco/salad bar for starters had a nice variety and very tasty. Watch out for those peppers though, HOT.
Sahura (Japanese): Hibachi seating with about 12 persons. Started with appetizers, then soup and a choice of various dishes with chicken, seafood or meat. All meals were well done (chicken a little over done) and the service was very good, although a bit conservative for a Hibachi chef (usually they are quite flamboyant!). The deep-fried ice cream for dessert definitely needs some work.
La Palapa: Lunch: Always seemed overcrowded and the food always looked picked at and not very hot (temperature wise). Staff tries their best but with so many persons, they are way outnumbered. We always opted for the Hibiscus or La Dolce Vita for lunch and never had to wait and were always pleased with the selection and service.
Hibiscus: Large buffet with made to order eggs, pancakes & waffles. Also yogurt, cereal, fruit, pastries and all the usual sides (bacon, sausage…)
Pool: It was large, clean and had many little alcoves for floating and relaxing. Always enough chairs and palm umbrellas for everyone. Pool bar is both upper (out of pool) and lower (in pool) and those guys hustle.
Beach: Long, clean and beautiful. We would walk a few times everyday from one point to the other. Seemed to go on forever. From our walks I can say that the Paradisus beach is one of the cleanest areas. The crews are out every morning around 6:30 am raking and there is always some persons walking around during the day picking up glasses, cigarette butts and such.
* There were issues regarding the beach chairs. Since I am an early beach walker (5:30 am) and usually on the beach for the start of the day by 7:30 we never had any troubles. But those coming out late mornings, did not always find the shady spots that they were hoping for.
* At the left end of the beach, around the turn, are a collection of vendor shacks. You must take the walk to see the deals. Coffee, clothes, sculptures and other souvenirs can all be found and haggled for.
Grounds: The grounds at the resort are amazing. So lush and green with flowers and trees everywhere. The maintenance crew is always working on something and it shows. We were really surprised that for a resort of such size just how clean the grounds always were. No cigarette butts, empty glasses or any other debris anywhere. There are also flowing ponds stocked with Koi (bring a roll from breakfast and they will love you) and beautiful statues throughout the resort.
Royal Service: We chose the Royal Service and I would highly recommend it to anyone. From the moment we booked our trip I was in contact with Mariana, the Royal Service Manager and she was wonderful. She took care of our room requests (we were 2 couples and wanted to be near each other at the resort), made all our dinner reservations before our arrival and even offered to book our golf times ahead for us. The Royal Service lounge offers free internet access, daily newspapers and an assortment of books and movies. They also have a wonderful little restaurant that we used for breakfast everyday. The variety was the same as the larger Hibiscus but much more personal service. You can get beverages there all day long including espresso. Also, they have appetizers and cocktails before dinner starting at 7:00. Royal Service guests also have a reserved spot on the beach and have waiter service for its guests in that area. There wasn’t anything that you couldn’t ask of the staff of the Royal Service. They were highly efficient, very knowledgeable and still the nicest persons you could ever meet.
Manager Party: Outside the Main Lobby in Wednesdays starting at 7:00. Loads of food and drinks and a great opportunity to meet the managers and discuss the resort.
Beach Party: Saturday nights. Fun on the beach with games and grills!!
We went to the Paradisus at Punta Cana in March. We had a great weather for the whole week, plenty of sun and it was very hot.
It's all inclusive hotel with a little more : champagne, cigars and cigarettes as well !
The hotel : what a gorgeous place, it's simply beautiful, a lot of plants and trees, it's very clean, you have little cars that take you from one point to another if you don't want to walk.
The hall is slendid with bridges over small rivers.
There is a little zoo with camels, monkeys, birds... it's very cute.
there is also a great spa when you can get massages, pedicures, hamman... (that's not included).
The pool is huge and there is a lot of place to swim.
We stayed most of the time at the beach, you have to get up early and put the towels on the chairs to have shadows.
The beach is very clean, careful with the see cause there are big waves sometimes but you can take boogieboard at the activities center and surf.
There is a bar on the beach with all kind of beverage and toasted sandwich if you don't want to go to lunch.
The room : we were staying at building 15, it's was very well located, right in the midle, half way to the main hall and the see. The room was very large, with a nice view to the pool. There is a balcony with chairs. The bathroom is very clean, you had a problem with the flush but we call the reception and someone came within 30mm and fixed it.
The mini bar is filled every day with coke and water.
The restaurants : there are many restaurants and we didn't have time to try them all. Here where we went :
the Mexican : very good but very heavy, I almost got sick. When you arrived they served a margarita, very very good !
the Italian : it's ok, we didn't try the pizza but the pasta are too cooked. It's worse for the coffee, italian one, very good !
the meat restaurant : definitly one of the best, the meat is very tender, there is a very good choice.
the fish restaurant : it's right in front of the see, very good too.
We didn't try the japanese and chinese and also the french one, which to have to make reservation 24h before.
It's very nice that you don't have to make reservation, you just go where you want, all restaurants are open every night.
The breakfast : my favorite meal in this hotel, fresh orange juice and every think you want, it's a huge buffet with fruits, cereals, all kind of breads, pastries, eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese and even champagne !!
For lunch, we went to the buffet in front of the beach, it's very nice and it's open until 3pm.
The food is very fresh, new stuff every day, meat and fish are especially good.
The drinks are as much as you can drink it !!
We had beer at lunch : very good and fresh ! And at night, before diner, you often took a Caïpirana, once we tried the champagne and it was pretty good.
You can have wine for diner and it's really good quality coming from Spain or Argentina.
ACTIVITIES : there are a lot to do, first all the classic activities like volley, aquagym... but the great thing is that there are à lot of little trip by boat. It take 2 to 6 hours depending of the activities. You can go to the beach market, snorkling, diving. And it's still included.
At night, you can watch the show, and even if I'm not a big fan of this kind of entertainement, I have to say that it was very good ! great dancers, great set, great musik so we almost watch it every night. After we went to the casino for slot machines or blackjack (you can learn how to play during the week some afternoon near the pool).
We did only one charge activities with our tour operator : it's just the morning, we took a boat and went swimming with sharks and others fishes. It was a lot of fun and amazing to swim among all the fishes.
So it was a great trip and even if it's one of the most expensive hotel on the island, it's definitly worse it : the location, the room, the food, the activities, all the people are very nice.
You can contact me if you want some more info : firstname.lastname@example.org
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Larry and Pat USA
Just returned from our second visit the The Paradisus, and it was just a good as our first. May I begin by stating the main attraction was the "free greens fees" at the Cocotal Golf Course. My wife and I are what you might call golfaholics. Nevertheless, the beach is simply wonderful for walking, and the pool is equally as inviting. Food, which is entirely a personal preference, was without question more than adequate in presentation, taste and variation. This time there were a few evenings we were not hungry so we went to the buffet and had soup and salad. There were other times we went to one of the al carte resturants. In my never to be humble opinion, I just don't understand those individuals that have so much negativity about the food. Room was just fine. In bldg.32 #2313-corner, second floor. Everything worked very well. No bugs- left windows open frequently w/o any problem. Staff makes a genuine effort to serve. If we go back next year we will definitely look at the Paradisus first. Our two trips were booked through Apple Vacations. First Class! Only problem.. all they offer is one or two week trips, and my wife and I wish 10 days. Simply put, Paradisus is our first and only choice.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Larry & Tammy
This was our second all inclusive timeshare vacation and it was fantastic although it didn't start off that way. Check in did not go smoothly as we first waited an hour for the timeshare check in clerk to arrive. We were taken to a very nice room in building 4 but it smelled from what appeared to be cigar smoke that was unbearable. We called the front desk and they indicated someone would come with a new key and would move us to another room. That turned into another hour wait and when the bellman arrived on the tram he took us back to the main lobby to first get the key and then brought us to building 3 which was the same room layout, king bed, plenty of room for clothing in drawers and closets and sunken living room with couch, love seat, tv, microwave, coffee maker and mini fridge.
Room was not as nicely furnished with chipped furniture, cracked sliding glass to patio ( never fixed although reported it right away) and terrible view but no cigar smell. Other than that bed was comfortable room was cleaned every day and it was fair location close to beach and pool. Since we don't spend much time in room and it was clean and comfortable we didn't bother to hassle with the not very accommodating timeshare check in clerk.
This was the only negative part of our trip and everyone else including the rest of the front desk staff, waiters, bellhops, bar tenders, activities staff were outstanding and we had a great time. Our other all inclusive stay was at Ciboney (Then beaches grande sport) and in many ways this resort was even better. We went sailing, snorkeling, swimming, horseback riding, boogey boarding, spa, and everything was included except for messages in spa and spa services and parasailing. Sauna, steam room, hot tub and gym were included.
We thought the food was excellent and ate at the ala carte restaurants for dinner every night and went to buffet breakfast. The French restaurant was excellent as was the Italian. The Mexican Chinese and seafood were also very good. We were there with another couple who booked a package deal with a travel agent and they loved the resort. The grounds were very large and drop dead gorgeous with palm trees, flowers, landscaping ponds and even flamingos all around the 35 two story buildings. All units are suites with king size BR area and sunken living rooms. There are also some 1BR timeshare units but our studio was the same as our friends room except ours included a microwave, dishes and silver and glassware which we never needed except to make the popcorn they supplied to us with the fresh flowers and bottle of wine included in our welcome package.
Nightly shows were also good with a different show every night. Drinks all day were included and soda and beer were replenished every day in mini fridge. The beach was great and we walked for miles in either direction. Waves were a bit strong especially when we went sailing and snorkeling but great for boogie boarding. Ocean and pool temperature were nice and warm and I would guess at around 80 degrees. Plenty of lounge chairs, palapas providing wonderful shade by the pool and by the beach. Made lots of friends at the resort and enjoyed every day even the one day it rained so we spent our time at the Spa. temperature every day was in the 80's and cooled a bit to the high 70's at night. I would rate this resort a ten and our accommodations a 8.5-9. If we had a nice view and a room with better furniture and had a better check in experience I would have rated this a perfect 10.
One last thing Check out was outstanding. We were staying the entire day on Saturday and checked into another resort Saturday night since our flight back home was not until Sunday. Although we had to check out of the room at 12:00 noon they put our luggage in a locked luggage area and let us keep our bracelets all day Saturday for food and drinks. When we were ready to check out they provided us with a place to change and shower before getting us a taxi to our other resort. This was one of our best timeshare exchanges ever and we would definitely return to this resort again. Also as a comparison our friends paid around $3,200 for their package vacation when adding up our maintenance, exchange fee, all inclusive fee and airline tickets it comes to about $2,400 total cost so we saved about $800 on this trip and used a week that was going to expire by the end of December 2004.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Kely Winnipeg, Canada
Overall, one of the best all-inclusive resorts I've been to. The resort was very clean and comfortable. However, there were a few things that got under our skin during our stay. First, the towels. It was mentioned in a previous review. We had the same problem. Almost everyday we did not rec' enough towels if at all. We had to continuously call the front desk. One day we cld 3 times over the course of the aft/eve and still NEVER got them. That was very frustrating. Second, the restaurant reservations. We went the day after we arrived to book a reso at one of the 2 restaurants that required them. We were told that they were booked up until the following Sat which was the day we were leaving. So we never had an opportunity to eat at either of them. This is a very poor system. The restaurant reso's should only be done 24hrs in advance so that everyone can have a chance to enjoy them. Finally, to anyone who is not a cigar fan. This would not be the resort or destination for you. For this reason alone, I would never visit DR again. There were many smoking w/ little regard for the bystanders nearby. We enountered cigar smokers everywhere from breakfast to the beach to dinner. It always seemed like they followed us.
Paradisus Resort - Punta Cana
Kristine & Michael
we stayed at the paradisus for the first time this year. this was our second trip to Dr. last year we stayed at the iberostar dominicana. the only good thing about the paradisus is that they have a big food selection. otherwise in my eyes the service is not 5 star. i had five problems: the first night we had a link from window because of rain. the water was all in front of our bed. we called front desk like two or three times and it took them about an hour and half to respond. the only way the mess got cleaned up was by the maid who was passing by. so technically the front desk never sent anyone to the room. the second incident was the phone in the room did not ring so by that i did not receive important calls from parents for one whole day because of this and i did not get a new phone till following day. the third incident was the maid never left towels on of the days we were there and they did not bring them until after we phoned them like three or four times. the fourth incident was that maid did not make up the room one day until 3 PM and we had to call house keeping again like 4 times before they responded. the fifth incident was that we called on two different days for a wake up call and we never got any of them. the food was k not bad. drinks was good. we had god weather we were there for 7 days dec 29 - jan 5 2005. our room was near the beach. we went parasailing, horseback riding, rented atvs and went on a boat ride. i would go back to dr again but not to this resort