Old Reviews - Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Jocelyne Gatineau, Quebec
Arrival: September 28th to October 5th, 2008
We left from Toronto, everything went fine. We were only 2 couples that arrived at this hotel at 11:45. We had to wait about one hour and a half for our room which was more that worth the wait.
Our room was in building 81, near the beach. Beautiful, clean with a jacuzzi. For an hotel that is about 15 years old, very well maintained. We really enjoyed the ice machines near the guests building.
Restaurants and Bars:
As we were there during the low season, not all the restaurants were opened, but that did not bother us as we had a chance to visit the other ones.
Buffet with air-conditioning Las Torres was opened for breakfast and lunch. Delicious, well decorated, very good choice. Mare Nostrum (Italian) same as Las Torres. La Cathedral (at Bavaro section) very big, so much choice we were there for the mexican theme, very good. Buffet at Punta Cana section El Behique, do not miss the chicken it is do die for, but it is not available everyday at lunch. El Bohio at the Palace very close to the beach, quite a view on the beach and the ocean.
Very long beach with white sand. The pools that were available were all clean. There is a little train to take you around on the complex as it is huge. Vegetation beautiful
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
As it was so hot, we just enjoyed the breeze from the ocean during the day on the beach.
I would recommend this hotel in a heart beat. We are planing on going back soon.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Natasha London, Ontario, Canada
Date - Aug 24 to 31
We just got back from our vacation to The Grand Palladium Palace. We were there for a week (Aug 24 to 31) There was two couples between the ages of 25 to 33 from London, Ontario Canada. My husband and I have been to all inclusive before and have been to Punta Cana. The other couple have never been on this kind of vacation before.
ARRIVAL – We got there around 11:00 am after a 20 min bus ride. When we got to the lobby we were given a cold drink and a nice cold damp cloth. Our rooms were not ready until 1:00 pm. We had lunch and then our rooms were ready which was great.
ROOM – We got the loft suits in building 84 room number 8414. It was spectacular. Like I said before, my husband and myself have been to all inclusive before but have never seen a loft room before. We got a king bed and a TV upstairs. Downstairs there was a Jacuzzi, TV, sofa bed. The mini bar will be re-filled 3 times a week unless you see the guy that stocks it. This room is close to the restaurants, beach and pool. The lights and the air don’t stay on unless you keep the key in the slot. You are given two keys. We didn’t keep a key in the slot but we still found it really cool in the room.
POOL – The water is warm but still refreshing. The pool is not big but it was never busy. We would go down to the pool around 9:00 and had no problem getting a good spot. There was wait staff walking around for drinks
BEACH – The beach had nice soft white sand. There were a lot of chairs at the beach. We would go there around 9:30 – 10:00 and would get a good spot under a hut. There is a beach bar but no wait staff. Considering that there were hurricanes all around us the water was still very calm. There were no rocks going into the water or in the water. I LOVE Punta Cana Beaches. If you are a beach person Punta Cana is the place to go.
WEATHER – I’m not going to talk about the weather because it’s nothing that can be changed.
GROUNDS – The grounds are well kept. The staffs are always cleaning it.
ENTERTAINMENT – The staff that does the entertainment are always on the go. We don’t do any of the games but it looked like people were having fun. They walked around trying to get people to come join the games. They were not push, they asked in a playful, fun way. In the bars there is a band playing.
RESTAURANTS – Every morning we would go for breakfast at Las Torres at the front by the lobby. The staff was the best. We always sat in the same spot so we would have the same staff each time. At lunch we would go to El Bohio. For dinner we went to 3 specialty restaurants. Bamboo (Asian), Mare Norstrum (Italian) and El Arrecife (International). All the restaurants were very good. El Arrecife was all open so it was very hot. The other nights we went to the buffet. We all found that the food was really good. A lot to choose from. Because they have to cook for so many taste buds the food doesn’t have a lot of spice. We were a little surprised at how good the selection of the food was at the specialty restaurants and the buffets. We have never see this much selection of meats (CHICKEN, LAMB, STEAK, HAMBURGER, HOT DOGS grill fresh as you ordered everyday at the buffets plus all the other dishes that they served) if you are a picky eater you will still find food here
CHECK-OUT – The bus was to pick us up at 7:45. But went the bus didn’t show up we called our Air Transat rep and was told that because of the hurricanes we were delayed until 4:45 for the bus to come pick us up. Since we all had checked out already they gave us our rooms back until 2. So we got to enjoy another hot day.
Dana and John, Harold, Linda and Crystal Newfoundland
Rooms: 8708/ 8610
We just got back from holiday for March 10th - 18th. We stayed at the Grand Pallidium Palace and had a wonderful holiday. I would recommend it as a(5) five star all the way. This resort consists of 3 resort areas plus the Royal Suites. There was no problem getting around the resort properties. There are train trolley's on the move and there are also the Casino trollies. In most cases if they saw you waiting for the train they would stop and ask you if you wanted a ride anywhere. The staff were friendly and we especially liked Sandi at the beach, and around the pool and the show.... This guy has so much energy and was able to keep people interested and involved in the events on going through out the day. So if you are going there do look for him to get you up and at'em. We had no problems at this resort and are looking forward to going again here next year. We stayed at building 87 and my parents in building 86 right next store. We were right along side of everything, the pool, the beach, and the buffets. The food was fabulous and something for everyone. Lots of fries, hamburgers, hotdogs, and ice cream.... There were 5 of us and we thoroughly enjoyed the food. Can't comment on the alacarte's as we didn't go, we loved the selection at the buffets way too much. The SPA and the workout room was great and had everything for the weight conscious.
The rooms were excellent and a jacuzzi in the room with a shower and toilet separate. There were several places for any woman/man to do hair and make-up. We brought our own electrical conversions so we had no problem plugging any electrical appliances. There was one plug in that was compatible and needed no conversions. You can pick these up for about $50.00 and they contain the conversions for Europe, Asia, Australia.. Great accessory, we used it in Cuba as well!! You should also bring your own face cloths as we never received any but we never asked as we had our own.
We had fresh sheets every day and the fridge was stocked daily. You don't have to go to the Royal Suites for this. Our room was cleaned everyday and fresh towels always!! A definite 5 star resort!!!
We had no problem getting a spot on the beach, but did have to get up early for this and get the towels out and mark the spot. The pool filled up early too!! We stayed on the beach and came up to the pool late afternoon and had no problem getting a spot poolside then. The beach was fantastic and lots to do, and rest when you wanted one day all five of us fell asleep!! :)
There are 2 (two) theaters so you can chose between shows to attend. We saw the Michael Jackson show for one and it was fantastic these people are very talented!!
There is a Casino, a 24 hour Sports bar, and a Disco!! We didn't go there as the reviews, that there were a few younger ones doing some nasty on the floor .. Thought we would just skip that scene.
We had a week of sunshine, so the weather was great!!
This resort has all beautiful lounge areas for evening and lots of little shops to browse. We loved it and got some nice things brought back. Don't forget if you go up the beach shopping to the right facing the ocean there are lots of bargaining to be done. One guy asked me for 1,000,000.00 US for at-shirt!!! I got it for $5.00!!! They are able to be bargained with. Remember the prices change from store to store so bargain before you buy....Cheapy, cheapy is sometimes just a saying!!
We laid down a camera bag with 2 Kodak cameras, $30.00 US, and a memory card from another camera. Someone did pick it up but never returned it to the front desk at any part of the resort. We would have liked to have had the pics and they could have kept the 2 cameras valued at over $600.00. One was my 16 years old sisters that dad had bought her on another trip. She was crushed. The other was my daughters new never used.If anyone knows of whom could have it there is a reward offered. With so many people on the resort it was like finding a needle in haystack. Our information is at the resort or you can email us. Remember to tip and always say thank you and smile!!
This was our experience and we have to say a wonderful vacation we had. The resort is a Palace all the way, you will have a wonderful time here no doubt!! We are looking forward to next year... :)
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Shelley & Calvin Ontario
Arrival and Flight
Air Transit, flight was on time and smooth, a little cramped.
They were quite nice, we had a deluxe suite, on the 2nd floor in block 68, which was not on the beach but right beside the pool and bars and a good walk to the beach that you do require after on the eating and drinking. Really good location.
We tried three a la cartes, the Mexican which was very good, the Steak house which was okay, but the service was not as good and the Italian twice which was our favourite, good food and very friendly service. The nice part was you did not have to reserve these so when you show up they give you a pager and tell you about how long it will be so you can just have drink and relax, usually only about 30 mins tops. The buffets were good but like anywhere you pretty much eat the same each day. No complaining though, I didn't have to cook it. The only thing we would have liked to see was a small shack near the beach to just grab a quick burger or something during the day, we found you didn't need to eat a large lunch after a huge breakfast.
There were plenty of bars, 12 to be exact, there was never a wait and the service was amazing. Also, there was pretty much any drink you want except for caesars. But no complaining here there was a large variety.
Beach and Pools
The beach was absolutely gorgeous, this was our third visit to Punta Cana and of course no disappointment with the beach, lots of long walks. Well we were there the last three days they had a wind storm so the beach was off limits the waves were so large that it took out so many trees and the palapys. It was pretty scary for the locals they said it had been the first time in many years for this other than hurricane season of course. There were four pools and they were very large and beautiful. We especially enjoyed the Palace pool and the bartender William, but all the reviews were right, you had to play the towel game, reserving your chairs by 6:30 am, I didn't like that at all, it takes about four days to get in on the game.
The grounds were immaculate at all times, the gardeners were always working on them. The only negative thing I would say about the resort is there is way too much traffic, you were constantly dodging buses, trains and motor scooters, I wish they would find a way around this. I guess that is how it goes with a large resort. I honestly would not have wanted small children with me for that reason.
Activities and Entertainment
We think there were a lot of activities with the animation team, but to be honest we were there for relaxing and didn't pay too much attention to that. The entertainment was not so great, the only show we made sure to see was the Michael Jackson show it was very well done and we enjoyed that.
There were many tours available but this is the first time we did not do any. The only thing we did was venture into a small area for shopping and did get some good deals. Only warning is that they are very aggressive so just be aware.
Departure and Check Out
Check out was very easy and departure right on time and flight home uneventful.
This was a very nice resort everything you would want is there, but it is very large and as long as you know there is a lot of walking from one side to the other, than I would recommend this property. If you want a quiet holiday make sure you pay extra and stay in the Royal Suites.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Our comments on the Grand Palladium Palace for Dec 2007
We arrived 2 days after Christmas around 5:00 pm and were checked in immediately by very friendly registration staff. Our rooms were ready and were in building 91 right down near the beach, near one of the pools and a lunch restaurant. We found this to be an excellent location.
This was our third stay at the Palladium resort. I was asked when checking in if we had been to the resort before and when I said it was our third stay I was advised to see Guest Services the next day and they would "set me up". The next day at Guest Services, we were told we would receive a gift and fruit basket in our room. They also gave us a different colored bracelet to identify us as "Repeaters". On a couple of occasions the resort staff approached us and asked how many times we had been to the resort, so the colored bracelet does in fact mean something to the staff at the resort. We did receive a nice fruit basket and a small bottle of Brugal in our room later the next day. I had never heard before about the Fiesta points program. At your third stay you start to collect Fiesta points which are used for many different options on the resort and once you collect enough points, free stays at a Fiesta/Palladium property of your choice. We were told to ask for our points at check out which we did and were given a small card that identified the resort we stayed at and the points accumulated along with a bit of redemption information. You must do this before leaving as it says they won't issue points after you have departed.
Our stay at the Palace was wonderful. We were there for New Year's Eve. In preparation for that meal, everyone had to reserve their dinner seating in advance. There was a sitting at 6:30 and another at 8:30. We took the later sitting and noticed that people were coming in long after 8:30 without any problem. The meal was buffet and was fabulous and included your choice of lobster to burgers and anything in-between that you could imagine. It was well presented/decorated. They also were serving Champagne before dinner and all throughout the evening which was a very nice touch as well. At exactly midnight there was a fireworks show.
During our stay, we heard some people complaining about not being able to make a la carte restaurant reservations. They were not happy with the first come, first serve option the resort is trying and also complained about not being served drinks while they waited. We didn't mind this new system. If you decide in the morning you do want to eat a la carte, then you get prepared and get in the line up. We ate at the Bambu and Arriceffe restaurants. At Arriceffe we had virtually no wait, however, Bambu was more than an hour wait. They gave us a pager and we sat by the little bar just outside while we waited. We found the buffets just as convenient and the food equally as good, with the ability to enjoy as much as you want.
We did find that we had to do the chair derby and by 7:30 in the morning many chairs had already been reserved. By 9 or 10 in the morning all chairs have been reserved and at the pool even earlier than that. I don't mind people reserving chairs as long as everyone shows up to use their chairs. There were quite a number of chairs at the pool with people's belongings on them all day, and yet never a person showed up to use the chair. This can be frustrating for those who are actually wanting to sit at the pool and the beach. Because we were there for the week following Christmas, the resort was at 100% occupancy, so it was busy at the restaurants, pools and bars, however, it never really felt over crowded, although the beach was pretty full in the morning and throughout the day.
The grounds are meticulously maintained by many, many workers, the service is good, staff is friendly and courteous, the food is good - even the pickiest of eaters should not go hungry, there is a good variety of drinks too. And of course the spectacular beach! You can walk for miles in either direction.
We felt there was really only one thing we could find the slightest fault with and that was the evening entertainment. The shows are very, very well done, with fabulous costumes and very talented performers, but it is basically jazz/ballet dancing to different music/themes most nights. One night there was a magician who was okay and another night it was a Michael Jackson impersonation show, but with the usual dancing. And another night was "The Stars are Here" which was also impersonating various singers again with the same jazz/ballet dancing. If the resort did a Dominican Cultural show, unfortunately we missed it. While it would likely have also been dancing, it would have been nice to see something relating to DR or Caribbean culture, not jazz/ballet. The Emcee at the shows spoke in several languages and we found it extremely difficult to pick up when he switched from one language to another, so consequently, we didn't understand most of what was said. However, there was really no show where this was actually needed so it didn't really matter too much.
The resort is always trying to make sure guests are happy and to find that out, we were asked to complete surveys at a couple of the restaurants regarding the food/service etc and one time on the resort as a whole.
This is a wonderful resort for families, couples, honeymooners - just about everyone and if we get the chance, we would return to the Palladium again and again.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Dan & Nikki Halifax, NS
Fantastic relaxing one week vacation (Feb.16-23)at the GPP! Booked on Selloffvacations.com, air Transat. No problems at all! I have to agree with most other posts.. Tipping is not necessary. We did tip extra at times... And did not receive any additional treatment ( Nice for a change).
Food was perfectly fine, however we at the Punta Cana buffet only because we got lost one day and ended up there. There are three hotels in one so you have the option of dining at all three buffets! After eating at Las Torres eventually, we still went back to the Punta Cana section. Found it to be better laid out and not as busy. Food choices were a bit better and staff friendlier. Although there was one day I waited too long for cutlery and went up to a waitress who was dressing tables, excused myself politely as I reached for a fork and knife off her tray..WELL!!!!!! That was a no no... Told me "Uno momento"... Never did get service after that one. I swear she went to every person in the place to tell them "NOT TO SERVE THAT GIRL"..AH!HA! It was insane....... Some days coffee was slow going and people were going up to get it themselves... Staff did not like that. I think there were new staff the week we stayed...seemed like there were a lot of instructions being given.... It was kind of amusing to see us tourists get "wrapped on the knuckles" for helping ourselves... Not the norm I guess in the DR. And just when you think you got away from it .. You go to another restaurant and you run into the same people/staff again. I guess they all satellite around the resorts and the never forget a face!!!. I still continued to help myself, I don't understand Spanish curse words...Ha! Ha!
Dined at the Japanese BAMBOO a la carte! - wonderful, Mexican - wonderful, Spanish - O.K, Italian ( near Las Torres)-O.K. Refreshing change from the buffet. I loved that you did not have to reserve seats in the a la carte's. First come first serve, but you would have to get there for opening at 6.30PM in order not to wait. If you are on a list they give you a lite up indicator to carry around when your table is ready. We did this and waited 1.5 hrs while sitting in the lounge close by.... Turned in our disc and went earlier the next night. Made our way to the buffet instead!
Stayed in a Loft room. Very nice but no different from a Deluxe other than the second level. This was a killer when you had a bathroom run in the middle of the nite:) I would not pay the extra money for It. There was AC on the top level as well..so heat rising was not an issue. TV's on both levels.
*NOTE* the wall outlets are sunk in. So if you have anything like a charger you had to plug in it wont work. There was one plug in the room with standard plates. It is behind the TV. This is where we plugged in our SONY camera charger. I did notice you can by extensions at the stores in case you get stuck$$$$$.
Used the hot tub every night! Wonderful , tight squeeze for two but manageable. Yes in the middle of the room but if you are there with spouse/loved one..what is the big deal? Otherwise, with the loft you can go up stairs while one has privacy. TV on both levels. Room was always clean. No complaints. Hot water every day, morning, noon, night. No faceclothes, no body lotion/moisturizer for toiletries:( No Biggie..just forgot mine.
Did the beach everday..lovely. Met our London. ON.friends there:)) Judy/Dick/Margaret. Few vendors on beach.. Not bothersome if you don't make eye contact. That is the trick! Sure you get asked to parasail.... Banana boat.. You say NO GRACIAS they leave. No problem with kids running around.. They all stayed by the pool. Which I did not attempt to try.. Way too hot! Noise and kids for animation team activities. People are up early 6 AM to get pool loungers.. Never had a problem on the beach...same idea.. But plenty to go around.
The resort is so big it is not a problem to get away from noise and kids.... So I am glad I did not book the royal suites for the additional money. We all share the same beach which was my main reason for choosing this hotel:) I was extremely pleased.
Went Parasailing one day $85US for two. Went on a day dune buggy excursion... Total fun! Also a day catamaran to SAONA ISLAND- Nice.
There are vendors at both ends of the beach if you are looking for art, sun sarongs/wraps/shirts/souvenirs. Bikini hut - if you want to pay $115US for one!!!!!YIKES...... Also there are stores in the commercial zone in the center of all three for snacks, toiletries, souvenirs. Internet was $5 US/30 mins.
Great vacation.. Weather hot hot hot, great deal for the money, $1400.00CDN each - Loft.
Feel free to email any inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
L & L Calgary, Canada
Just returned from a two week stay at the Grand Palladium Palace Resort in Punta Cana, D.R. This is a very nice resort complex that offers a tremendous variety of buffets, al a carte restaurants, bars, activities, etc., etc. Staff are extremely friendly and work very hard to please. We would not hesitate to recommend it.
Food was very good - periodically, some dishes were over-salted but for the most part, it would be hard to complain about any of our meals. We found that the Punta Cana main buffet (watch for Milady - she went out of her way to make sure we were taken care of) and the Punta Cana beach buffet were by far the best if you want buffet-style choice. We really liked the Spanish and the seafood al a cartes too - it was awesome not to have to reserve ahead - just throw on the proper clothes and go.
Effective September 30, 2007, all restaurants at this complex (and possibly in the entire D.R. - we are not sure about this) went non-smoking. Absolutely wonderful to be able to enjoy one's dining without having to suffer through someone's second-hand smoke. If only they would do the same thing in the bars and other public places. It was extremely unpleasant for the most part trying to enjoy a drink or two in the bars because of the significant number of smokers who really don't care about anyone around them. Smokers on the beach, believe it or not, were just as ignorant. Who knows, maybe one day, they will join the 21st century - here's hoping.
Beach was awesome - we were at the Palace section which borders the Royal Suites section of this complex. We could walk for miles in either direction and really enjoyed the various shops, even though the vendors were somewhat aggressive at times. Once you entered their shop, they seemed really interested in talking, whether you bought something or not. Pools were very nice too but could be warm without a breeze.
Besides the smoking, our only other complaint involved security (which at first should sound odd). The Royal Suites have a separate beach section which supposedly is only for their occupants - unfortunately, few non-Royal Suites people know about this and the area is not marked in any manner whatsoever, other than by the loungers which while still blue, are somewhat different in style.
It was extremely frustrating to see hotel security arrive early one afternoon and in a fairly heavy-handed manner, force people out of the section and in cases where Royal Suites beach loungers had been relocated into the Palace section, try to make people give them up when clearly, by that time of the day, no others were available. What made it even sillier was that Royal Suites people could come and take or just utilize our loungers anytime they wanted. This became a real gong show one day with many people extremely irate - so we suggested to management at the Palace lobby that they stop the "Gestapo-type" security tactics and try stringing a rope or possibly put up simple signs. The gong show seemed to let up but we never saw any attempt to put up a rope or signs. Ironically, many Royal Suites people told us that the extra cost and distances from other resort amenities made the Royal Suites a poor choice.
If you want good proximity to everything while staying at this resort, go for the Palace or Punta Cana sections of the resort. You won't regret it. A great holiday!
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
My husband and I got married at the Grand Palladium in January 2007 and it was amazing! We had a party of 30 people join us on our week-long trip and no one had any complaints and kept complementing us on our choice of resort. Thanks goodness because we had never been to Punta Cana before.
I won’t go on too much about what the resort is like; I think most people on this site have covered that pretty well. It was wonderful and clean all around and the staff were great. I want to focus more on how our wedding day went.
Advice on preparing for your wedding:
The first morning we were there we sat down with our wedding coordinator Isuyney to talk details – music, flowers, dinner menu etc. We thought we could get this all done in one seating, but that didn’t happen. The first day we decided on the restaurant, Arrecife for our wedding dinner and that was about it. Apparently we couldn’t do the flowers that day because the flower shop was closed. When we went to talk to her at our next appointment, she informed us that the quoted price had gone up by $200, this was unacceptable to us and was the only thing about the wedding planning that really got our goat. We out up a stink and then ended up by meeting us halfway at $100. They have you there with your wedding party and know that they can get away with this kind of thing so just be aware. Two mornings turned into 3, which was a pain because they only started work at 10am…prime beach chair grabbing time, so that put a bit of a damper on our mornings. On the third morning we chose our flowers. I’m not sure why we couldn’t have done this on day 1 because all she did was show us pictures on the computer of our choices – there was no need for the flower shop at all. I was a little annoyed at this too because we could have has this morning to ourselves. It was only then that she asked us about our music choices as well. I have a feeling Isuyney was pretty new the wedding coordinator position, so that was probably why we had to have so many “meetings.
I know all this sounds bad, but really it wasn’t. They were very pleasant, the meetings didn’t take very long, but they just on Dominica time, so don’t expect things to run like a well oil wedding machine. I just want to share so that you can cut some corners and avoid the 3 morning meetings we had and build them into just 1 or 2.
Ceremony: We had booked a sunset ceremony, 6pm, which turned into 7:30pm. So a word of advice, when thinking about what time you want to hold your ceremony, subtract at least a half hour. Apparently and hour and a half late is rarely heard of, but they ALWAYS run a half hour late. It was dark by the time we got hitched, but at that point all I was worried about were out pictures. Our photographer Michael was terrific and sent someone to come back the next day at 11am to take pictures of us on the beach at no extra cost, so we didn’t miss out on those fabulous beach shots. To make up for the extra cost and time delays, Isuyney decorated our room beautifully with rose petals, champagne, a drawn bath and a really nice congratulation letter. That made up for a lot and was really sweet.
Restaurant: We had our dinner at the Arrecife restaurant right across from the gazebo where the ceremony was held. The food was good, you don’t have the restaurant to yourself, but they do corner off an area for you and you have your own dedicated wait staff. All in all, it was exactly what we wanted – something easy, casual and low key. After dinner we hit the piano bar, had some drinks and people made their speeches then. All in all, it was exactly what my husband and I wanted and we will always hold that night near and dear to our hearts.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
I stayed at the Grand Palladium Palace after much research on this website and chose the GP Palace.
I am 40 years old and went with my 62 year old mother . The Palace seemed to have the best shot at getting a close room to the Beach and pools ( With her not being an avid walker)
We arrived and recieved a room in bldg 91 and it was a few feet from t he beach and pool. I'm not gonna repeat everything I read Just points didn't read.
The entire Palladium complex is beautiful. I would really have choosen to stay at the Bavaro section. The Barvaro Lobby area had everything for at night. It has the lobby bar, Koi pond,Entertainment, the sports bar, shops and theather all in one main area . ( very easy for my mom to take the train to get there)
Food for an all inclusive was very good, and I've been to many countrys. I've been to mexico, Bahamas, puerto rico, Jamaica, caymans, st Lucia, Aruba, Curacao, Maragrita island,antigua, st thomas, st martin and barbados. This hotels food was very good for an all inclusive. Plus you get for a week 3 nights of ala cartes usually most hotels give one. I did go to the mecian restaurant 2 xs. we loved it. The key to the buffets are looking at every kiosk before making your selections. Alot of seafood, paella, Steaks, swordfish salmon. One corner has Itlain, pasta, pizza. One section has an area to choose you fish, steak or chicken and they cook it for you. Friday gala buffet was very good. Fridays have every type of meat from roast beef, pork, turkey, duckand seafood.
The menus for the specialty reastuarants are posted in the lobby areas. As are the themes for the buffets each night. No problems with reservations at all.
Water is every where all bars and restaurants just ask. They will serve you bottled water at these areas.
I am american and us americans do not specialize in learning alot of various langauges or cultures. Beware if you are not interested in trying to speak another lanaguage or get impatient if someone does not understand you, this hotel may not be for you. Alot of people from various countries stay here, not many americans. This for me was the reason I came to this hotel I always want to see other cultures.
The rooms- I was cold every night, my bed consisted of a sheet and bedspread no blankets.
Now the one bad experiance, at the lobby of the Palace is a pond outside. My mother ate breakfast one morning and brought bread back to feed the fish, as she was feeding them a rat came swiming up to her. Later that night as we got off the train, a bus had ran over a rat in the road by the pond. Hopefully that was it, for this reason alone I would stay at the Bavaro section.
Ps the barvaro pond outside I saw no pesky rodents...
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
This was our first time to the Dominican, and the reviews on this site helped tremendously. We travelled with another couple and were in separate villas, but about a block away from each other so it really wasn't too bad. We were in room 4116, which was always very clean and absolutely no bugs. We usually left gifts and/or tip for the maids everyday. Bring plenty of single $1's for tipping everyone.
Buffet always had plenty to choose from, and we tried 2 ala carte restaurants. Only setback - we booked 3 ala cartes on the second day of our stay. After 10 minutes, I went back to change the time of our last choice from 630 to 9. I watched him change the reservation, but he didn't change the time on my confirmation slip. When we arrived at the restaurant at 9, we were told we were late, our reservation was for 630. When I tried to explain what happened, their very limited English became very convenient for them. In the end, we enjoyed a late-night buffet dinner which still had plenty to choose from near closing time.
The list of Spanish words on this site was most helpful, and all you really needed to know in the end. We did take the Bavaro Runners tour and while informative and interesting, it ran too long and thus ran out its welcome by the end of the day. Be prepared for stops to their sponsored schools, bring pencils, crayons, school stuff to leave behind. This is a safari type ride, if you have a bad back, you won't be comfortable.
The beach was absolutely gorgeous, the only negative thing we would comment on are the cigarette/cigar butts left behind on the beach. Just past the Royal Suites is the unguarded vendor area. If you are intimidated by aggressive vendors, walk in the water - it seemed most of them wore shoes and didn't want to get wet. If you were near to the sand than the water, they'll grab your hand and pull you into their store. Better yet, say no gracias and walk a bit to part of the beach with tables/chairs, restaurant setting, walk through there to a street, and you will see Los Pinos store. The store has everything the vendors do, with set prices, no haggling and it's fairly reasonable to the beach vendors. This handy hint also came from this site. One night a week (Thursday), the vendors are allowed on the property and set up at the ampitheatre, but are as aggressive as they are on the beach.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and will go back. If you are a first timer, I would recommend attending the tourist operator meeting they will have for you at the resort, it's very interesting and helpful to familiarize yourself with the resort and area.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Rod and Rachel Canada
I will add our 2 cents. I really don't want to repeat what previous posters have already said.
We are in our late 40s and have traveled to Punta Cana many times. We try to go as often as we can.
Check in at the Dorval airport was easy, security no problem, we had advance seat reservations and the flight with Air Transat was a breeze.
We arrived in Punta Cana - Customs and luggage was also a breeze.
We took a taxi to the hotel. We requested a smooth taxi driver, we wanted a slow ride ti the hotel and not just a blur. The taxi ride there was most enjoyable I looked at the speedometer and the driver was going 60 kilometres/hour the entire way.
We had already sent an email requesting an ocean view room. When we arrived at the front desk seeing it was our second time there and it was off season, we were hoping they would accommodate our request...
The first room they gave us had a loft, I (rachel) didn't care for it as there were no bathroom up there, just a bed. I could see this being handy if you had children. Upon viewing the regular deluxe room I preferred it. We could stay together as opposed to one up and one down. Another thing if you need the toilet in the middle of the night you have to go downstairs. So we ended up getting a lovely deluxe room with a Jacuzzi and a view on the gardens and close to the beach, we were in bldg 9200.
During our second week we were offered an ocean view room and the only difference was you could see the ocean from the top of the tropical bushes. The room had an identical set up as the previous room.
There is a coffee machine in the room and the coffee is always replenished. My husband filled an empty water bottle with milk and stored in the fridge, that way we could make our coffee early in the morning and go watch the sunrises on the beach with it a nice hot coffee.
Tip: 1: When we first got in our room we noticed that the electrical plugs were sunken in a bit. Then we realized we had to purchase converters for 3$US each. I checked with reception and was told there is one American plug behind the very heavy TV cabinet. Luckily my husband had packed a small extension cord power bar (he is always prepared). That was so great -because the American connection is very hard to get at, with the power bar we were able to have everything plugged and easy access to them all on the table in our room, batteries, walkies talkies, alarm clock, curling iron etc….
2: They do not have a long mirror in the room, I found that unusual, most place have a long mirror in the room for the ladies, no big deal though (sometimes that can be a good thing).
3. We brought our water noodles to float in the ocean, it was very welcome as the water was so warm. I'm not the best swimmer and was able to float far out near the ropes. You can just lay back on the noodle and your feet will float. We spent hours in the water, my husband actually fell asleep on his noodle. They pack well and weight nothing, they came in handy when packing all those bottles of Brugal in our suitcases.
From what we saw the pools and swim up bar were well kept. We never made it into the pools.
We are beach people, we spent our entire 2 weeks in the same spot. We sat right next to the royal suites where there is a small grouping of tropical trees and bushes that separated the RS and the Palace. Very nice private spot with a tall palapa.
We are not fussy eaters so we found the food good. I really enjoyed the lunches, the pizza's with or without meat were awesome - to which I always added more stuff.
You can always find something; my husband was creative and made himself some beef or chicken subs with mushroom, onions, salad, tomatoes, cheese and pickles. He would get the guy to toast his bun on the grill.
We enjoyed the new way of booking the ala Cartes, no more line ups. You get 3 vouches per week in your room and you can book the alacartes easily at the Public relations desk anyday before noon.
Our favourite was the Italian "Mare Nostrum". I loved their Mozzarella Pasta.
The ala Carles were ok, we preferred the buffet, you can choose what you want as well as portion control.
We booked a wonderful massage one evening, when a huge thunderstorm came unexpectedly. We were facing the ocean and could see the slighting and thunder then came the rain. All 4 of us agreed that we would outlast the downpour. It was quite windy and rain was blowing into our massage palapa. We felt a bit awkward for the message girls, they were wearing rain caps and made sure we did not get any rain in our faces - not that it would have mattered it was so warm outside. The massage was relaxing.
For us the service was exceptional. We have to thank Neil, Rodolpho, Francisco, Domingo, José, and Juan etc etc….and the list goes on.
The weather was nothing but sunshine everyday. From our experience in traveling during rainy season is that it only rains in the evening and at night which is fine with us.
As a side bar: We went for breakfast one morning at the Catedral buffet in the Grand Palladium Bavaro section and found this part of the resort to be more lively, we preferred the Palace section for it’s tranquility.
My husband and I flew home yesterday, after spending 4 days at The Grand Palladium Palace in Punta Cana. We were on our honeymoon. What a wonderful place. The service is the best, they never made you wait for anything!
We flew on USA 3000- Apple vacations, we highly recommend them. I stayed at the Palace when it was the Fiesta Palace in 2004, many improvements.The resort is so well taken care of, the pool and beach were always clean. We both had massages on the beach- heavenly!! The food was O.K., you do need to remember you are in the Dominican Republic, the buffets always had a large variety. We enjoyed the fresh pineapple and mango. Please try the coco-loco's, my husband loves them. He tried them last year on our visit to the world's worst resort in Punta Cana, IFA Villas Bavaro-- PLEASE stay away from this resort!!
One bit of advice- if you decide to buy a calling card at the supermarket, be advised that when making a call from your room there is a connection fee imposed by the resort. We were charged $14.95 at the end of our visit, even after paying $10 US a piece for the calling cards. We had no idea of this. Bavaro beach is the most beautiful beach, the water is so warm and inviting. I could hardly get my husband out of it! This resort is one we will go back to again. I have been to the Dominican Republic 3 times, and I plan to return as soon as possible. While we were there Tropical Storm Cindy was hitting Puerto Rico, the resort posted reports on each villa enterance to keep as all updated. We flew out August 4th, so we avoided all the heavy rains. If you are considering booking your vacation here please do so, you won't be sorry!! We will return here very soon, were still smiling about the great times we had!!!
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Debbie Saint John, New Brunswick
WOW! Another two weeks in Paradise! We just returned from our 7th trip to the Dominican and our second stay in the Grand Palladium complex, last year staying in the Bavaro section, this year the Grand Palladium Palace.
We were there from April 10 - 24 and had a fabulous trip. From the moment we stepped into the lobby until the time we left we were treated absolutely wonderfully by everyone... We are already planning our trip back for next year.
Arrival- We arrived at 11:00 pm and were greeted with cold drinks, a band playing in the lobby and everything ready for us.
Room - Absolutely spectacular! We were located in building 86 overlooking the pool in a large room with king size bed and Jacuzzi in the room. We found the location to be prefect as we were close to the lobby, pool, restaurants, and the beach. The maid kept our room totally spotless and placed flower arrangements around the Jacuzzi and on the bed everyday. We received t a bottle of rum and a fruit basket twice during our 14 day stay. We found this to be a very special and unexpected pleasure.
Pool - We enjoyed a morning swim in the pool and a couple of drinks at the swim up bar but found it too hot to stay at in the afternoon so we spent most of the time at the beach. The waiter/waitress staff around the pool was excellent. The bartenders, especially William and Julius Caesar, made us feel very welcome and never forgot what we were drinking. They joked and laughed with us every day. My husband gave them Canada Hats and they absolutely loved them.
Beach - It was everything that I remembered from last year. Pure white sand and amazing palm trees. We never had a problem finding chairs with some shade no matter what time we went. There were three beach bar huts located along the beach. The water was a beautiful green with small waves most days. There were two days that it was a little ruff but it just made it more fun for us.
Weather - Out of the 14 days we only had one day of rain and a couple of night showers while we slept. Perfect! On the day that it did rain we still swam in the pool in the morning and spent the afternoon at the Lobby bar as the entertainment crew put on all kinds of activities there instead. They made it a great time for everyone no matter what the weather.
Entertainment - These people never stop. They are so friendly and make sure to include everyone that they can in every activity. They go around the pools and beach every day just to say hello and ask if you are enjoying your stay. There is everything that you can imagine to do if you wish to participate. There is painting, archery, basketball, volleyball, minigolf, badminton, soccer, ping-pong, darts, aqausize, tennis, etc. At the beach there is windsurfing, catamarans, kayaking, boogey boards, etc.
Restaurants - We went for breakfast at the buffet each morning (Las Torres), the beach restaurant for lunch (El Bohio) and then alternated our suppers between the buffet at the Palace, the buffet at the Bavaro (the Cathedral) and the Specialty restaurants. We never tired of the food and found most of it to be quite delicious.
Specialty Restaurants - We went to the Mariachi (Mexican), the El Quijote (Spanish), The Mare Norstrum (Italian) twice, and the Bamboo (Asian. We enjoyed every one of them for their food selection and their ambiance. We also found the service to be excellent and the staff very friendly. A special thanks to Julio from the Bamboo restaurant who had us laughing the whole time. We usually spent two hours or more at each as you start with their buffet, appetizers, main meal and then dessert.
Bars -We spent most of our evenings at the lobby bar at the Palace but also went to the lobby bar at the Bavaro when we went to the Specialty restaurants. Each of these bars had live entertainment each night.We also went to the Piano bar on the Bavaro side on many occasions. Don't miss this bar as they serve the best drinks on the whole complex!
Shopping - We shopped on the Bavaro side and the Palace side. The shop on the Bavaro side displays prices in US and the Palace side in Pesos. The Bavaro shop was less expensive. We also went to the village right beside the Royal Suites section. To avoid the aggressive vendors, walk down to Captain Nick's Seafood Restaurant. Go up through it and you will come to another street, there is a shop called LOS PINOS that have set prices (very cheap). They do not barter there and give you unbelievable deals. We bought enough souvenirs for 12 people, including bottles of rum, jewellery, and paintings and did not even spend $100US for everything.
We did not go to the theatre or disco as we have seen them all before and we are early risers (6am) so are in bed by 11:00 or so each day.
We did not do any excursions either as we have been on all of them before. We walked the beach for miles each day and loved comparing our resort to the others along the way. We found our beach area to be the best with hardly any seaweed and so much cleaner than all of the others. There were also many more chairs and palapas on our beach compared to the others although they could still use more as the resort was pretty well at full capacity so they were taken very early and very fast.
Don't forget to use one of the trains on your first day to get acquainted with the resort as it is a very large complex and you may miss out on some of the facilities available to you. The trains stop at every lobby, restaurant, the sports bar, and the sports complex so take advantage of it.
Check-out: - The check out was very fast and our bus arrived exactly on time as indicated by our tour rep. We were thanked for staying and told that they hoped we would return next year.
We are already planning our return! We highly recommend the Grand Palladium Palace.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Hey everyone my girlfriend Kristen and I just returned from the Grand Palladium Palace in Punta Cana and heres our review ! I think two words will sum it up our entire trip "ABSOLUTLY AMAZING " we thought this resort had it all. The staff was extraordinarily nice and wanted to go out of there way to help even though it was tough sometimes to communicate because we didnt speak good spanish and some of the workers didnt speak good english but they always made it work. The Beach is the best beach I have ever been to it goes on forever, lots of bars on the beach so you were always close to some drinks. Good food at the buffets and even better food at the al-ecarete restraunts. Grounds were kept in great shape and there were always gardeners trimming up stuff or mowing the lawns. I would recomend this resort to everyone I know and I was so impressed with it that I am booking another trip to the Grand Palladium Palace for september. I hope this helps you. Cheers !
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Valerie and Ken Northern Ontario, Canada
We live in Northern Ontario and stayed at Grand Palladium Palace in Punta Cana from March 22, 2006 thru April 5, 2006. We have visited Punta Cana before and other various Caribbean islands since 1981.
Overview: This resort is four resorts all next to each other. (Grand Palladium Bavaro; Grand Palladium Punta Cana; Grand Palladium Palace; and Royal Suites). It is huge. There is a tiny train to take one around – use it to get to know all of the areas of this resort and where the restaurants/shops/sports centre is. (Best value shops are the ones in the Bavaro resort section.) Most of the guests are either Italian/German or French. Not many Canadians or Americans when we were there.
Flight: took only 3½ hours from Toronto –customs fast and bus ride of only 45 minutes to hotel.
Reception at hotel: Fast and efficient. Envelopes with room keys and info about resort was all pre-prepared. Since the renovation in 2005 they have taken three blocks (numbers 67, 68 and 69) that were previously under the Punta Cana resort section and they now label these blocks as Grand Palladium Palace. These three blocks are in the very noisy area of the night time entertainment area. (If you want to party – great – but if you want peace avoid these rooms.) The blocks for GPP are numbered in the 80’s and 90’s.
Rooms: all rooms have a whirlpool which the resort refers to as “hydro massage spa”. The cleanliness of all of the rooms and grounds in the entire 4 resorts is spotless. If I were giving out stars I would class the hygiene of the rooms/grounds/restaurants as 10 star. The rooms have a mini-bar that is stocked with water/pop/2 beer every two days. (Note: I would not bother to pay extra for any of the rooms in the “Royal Suites” section. Firstly the buildings are 4 stories high – lots of steps! Secondly they say “no kids” but we only counted in the GPPalace area 3 kids. The other “advantage”? to the Royal Suites is free champagne and a small buffet continental breakfast around the pool. One still has to go to the other resorts for all of the other meals.)
In each room is an electronic safe – you code in your own password. This is very nice as no keys needed. There is air-conditioning and a fan in each room. The balconies were really nice also. While we were there it rained 9 full days out of 14 days and all of our clothing, even in our room closets, was wet and damp for days on end. It was so rainy that the Entertainment group was giving lessons in the main lobby area during those days.
Beach and Sailing: The beach is fabulous – wide and soft and the sailing, when the wind is down, is great. You have to book your sailing time 24 hours ahead for each day. The one bad thing is that there is not enough lounge chairs all along the beach. I had to get up a 5:30am to walk down to the beach to put towels on the lounge chairs under shade. By 8:30am all lounge chairs were taken. The blue beach towels, if lost or taken, cost $20 each so take care of yours. We take down old t-shirts and towels to place on our chairs. Early one morning the t-shirts were taken and never to be seen again. It really is unfortunate that more shade palm thatched huts are not built. People get quite possessive about their shade huts!!!! Many people were laying on their towels on the sand. There are beach bars for drinks but if you want some peace stay away from them as they blast out noise all day long. The beach in front of the Bavaro resort was especially crowded as that resort has many rooms and many people there.
Pool: we never use pools at busy resorts. It is so hot around the pools as no breezes reach them and all of the people at the swim up bars spill their drinks in the water amongst other things. Plus it is just so very loud and noisy with the so-called “Entertainment” – but lots love that so glad it is at the pool area. So we only use the ocean. Again not enough lounge chairs around the pools. Many were laying on towels on the grassy areas around the pools.
Entertainment: Very well attended by many. But why they have to scream and turn up those noisy music speakers all day long till 6pm I don’t understand.
Shopping and Village: On the resorts ground there are two shopping areas. The best is in the Bavaro place near the Sports Bar. Facing the beach, to the right of the Royal Suites is the tiny village/market place of El Cortecito. There is an excellent beach restaurant there called “Captain Cooks” that sells a great variety of seafood. Lobsters are $50 US each there. There is a small (only one person) bank in the village where you can get money in Pesos from a credit card as long as you take your photo ID or passport. They you can change the Pesos into US currency. But the line-ups are long!!!! We waited 45 minutes in line. And the people selling items in the stores were very aggressive and it was not nice – you had to barter for everything. We found items in the Bavaro store lower priced than items in those shops.
Security: This resort is very safe and secure. Uniformed guards patrol all over day and night and even some “plain-clothed guards”. They, like everyone on staff, are very nice and helpful in any way.
Tours: We never bother as they are all the same everywhere. On the beach there is Para Sailing/Banana Boat rides/ and other things to do.
Free Trip to Santo Domingo: Guests were offered a free bus ride to Santo Domingo and free overnight stay at a Hotel there. Firstly the bus ride each way was 3½ to 4 hours and the hotel is not on the beach. The hotel is a high-rise with only a pool. Just not worth leaving the resort and beach for!
Now for the Food: The food display is tops – if only it tasted that way! We seemed to live on soft ice cream and produce for days at a time. If your eating habits are McDonalds/Wendys and pre-prepared frozen package type of supermarket foods then you will probably like the food at the resort. But if you cook your own food from scratch and use herbs and spices then the food at the resort is boring/tasteless/tough and dull. I think that the reason is that so much is cooked in a cheap vegetable oil and is served cold and slimy. At the buffets, as they put out the food at least a good ½ hour before the doors open, the food is cold. Most of the foods were in a tomato type of sauce and the food was from frozen packages and tasteless. There were lots of high carb breaded foods and tons of rice in everything. Many guests were amazed at the lack of seafood available. Examples: the Roast Duck was only the backbones and legs and wings – no breast meat. But the display was excellent. They actually served my husband a back!!!!! The “Shark Fin Soup” was just broth with soya flavouring and frozen vegetables and the “Won Ton Soup” had no won tons! There was rarely any mango or payaya’s and no coconut even though coconuts were everywhere overhead in the resort! One good fruit was their Passion Fruit. No garlic is used at all. On the Friday “Gala Night” tons of meat available but all tough and tasteless. The “beef” whether roasted/hamburg/sliced was rubbery, tough and horrid. The joke going around was that it was ground up rubbery goat. The buns on the hamburgs were about 3” thick – again tons of carbs and fillers! The best night is Sunday nights at the buffets where they serve ribs – the only edible meat besides the lamb. And one day they had fried chicken at the lunch grill – that was good. Each day is a different “Potato Salad” – the mayonnaise used is horrid and the potatoes tasteless.
At the Friday night theme night they have one tray with ½” thin slices of lobster in it. They tray is hard to locate! But as usual the lobster/meat is cooked so far ahead of time and is tough and rubbery.
There is a Saturday night beach BBQ – but as it was so windy and rainy we cancelled as not our idea of eating food with sand in it sitting on a wet beach.
At the beach lunch grills – some “peel and eat” shrimps on sticks were served and they were not cooked long enough on the grill. The two types of cheese available was tasteless as was the Gouda but at night blue cheese was presented and that was good.
The desserts were nice with a good variety but the soft ice cream was the best. At the station that cooks up pasta – well the pasta is very “al dente” – most North Americans like their pasta cooked more. So what I would do is have the cook heat up a half portion of chopped seafood in a white sauce and then use that over other food.
I have no idea what they made their “sausages” out of but they were the worst we have ever eaten in our lives. The breakfast “ham” was that extremely thin sliced cheap type that was burn to a crisp – as was the bacon.
Boose: no name brands but their beer is super. Lots of “Cerveza” pronounced “Sir-veza”. We found the nicest bar to be next to the Punta Cana reception. It was quiet and peaceful with lovely comfortable chairs.
Sports Center: Lots to do here: Tennis; Mini-putt; badminton; air-rifle shooting; ping-pong, soccer; basketball, archery, etc. And even oil painting around the pool.
Leaving Dom. Republic – make sure you put aside $20US each for departure fee at the airport.
Overview: If you love noise and frenetic activity and have children/teens to be entertained then this is the resort to go to. For us we just found it too noisy and crowded. No peace at all. Just one continuing loud party place.
My wife and I just returned from the Paladium Palace where we stayed from March 16 to March 30. This was our third time in four years to the Domincan Republic, our first time was to the Bahia Principe at San Juan and two years ago at the Iberostar Dominicana at Punta Cana. There are mostly German, French and Spanish tourists here with probably english speaking as the fourth language spoken.
Here is how we would rate the resort.
The Resort- 9
The resort is beautiful and well looked after. There was always someone maintaining the grounds. Coming from a winter climate it is always appreciated to see palm trees and tropical plants. The resort ( all three are adjacent to each other) is well laid out however it is quite a long walk from one end to the other. They have a train that follows the pathways through the resort that comes around about every half hour. We used this fairly often especially in the evening to go for dinners at the various restaurants.
The Rooms -9
To our surprise, the room was more than we expected. We stayed in a deluxe room and it was very spacious. We had a whirlpool tub in the room, kingsize bed and a decent ocean view. Everything worked well with no problems. The doors and furniture were all solid mahogany wood with marble floors everywhere. The rooms were cleaned daily and they did a great job. The fridge in the room was always stocked with water, beer and pop daily. Our only complaint was the extra pillows we had asked for had a musty smell that was annoying.
The Beach -10
Anyone who does not like this beach has a problem. The water was warm as usual and the sand was as white and soft as we remembered it. For those who do not know, there is alot of topless women on the beach, some that perhaps shouldn't be. We had about four days of rainy weather (some heavy down pours), which is unusual for this time of year, but because we were there for two weeks it didn't ruin our holiday. We still went for long walks on the beach in the drizzle just to be outside. It was still warm out and we did not mind.
The Food- 7
The food was very good.... remembering this is the Dominican Republic. Remember that everthing is grown or raised locally with very little being imported. We were amazed at the scale of how much food they prepare for the number of guests. There was always lots of variety and the theme nights in the large buffet restaurants were great. We ate at the Catedral restaurant one night but found it was too big, a bit noisy and felt abit like a large cafateria. We ate at Las Torres where it was smaller, quieter and did not feel like a buffet. We went to 5 ala carte restaurants and liked them all except the Asian one. The food was great but the service was lousy and very disappointing.
When we arrived at the resort, we noticed that the staff seemed unhappy and they were not as friendly as other resorts in other years. The management handed out comment cards in the second week we were there and I think alot of people complained about the service. The next day we noticed big improvement in the service and we received alot more smiles. I think they would receive alot more tips from everyone if they tried to be more friendly.We know they do not make alot of money working long shifts so we tipped the room cleaning staff and the waiters at every dinner meal although they say you are not obligated to.
My biggest complaint was the staff working in the resort store Supermarcado (Paladium Palace). Every time I went into the store I was basically ignored by the two girls at the till. They were always chatting behind the counter and treated everyone like they were below their standards especially other Dominicans. I wanted to remind them that they are working in a small resort store not at a Prada or Guicci outlet like they thought they were. They were very snotty and rude. - 3
Tours - 6
We took the Bavaro Runners tour this time. It was quite similar to the one in Puerto Plata. We went to the sugar cane fields, a cigar museum, through the countryside to a Dominican farm and then to a secluded beach for lunch. The trip was great and a great experience to see the "real DR" however our guide started drinking too much and was getting obnoxious towards the end of the tour. He was partying it up with a few of the women on the tour and sort of ignored the rest. He wasn't very professional and started to swear and make lurid comments to the women while around a teenager and his Dad on the truck. He kind of ruined a great day.
Overall this is a beautiful resort with good food and in my opinion some inconsistant service. The fact that most do not speak english very well was not an issue for us like it is for some, however we did not receive the service for a 5 star resort like we had at other resorts in the DR. We both love the country and the people and would recommend traveling to the dominican to experience it.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
I read all of the reviews on your site plus other sites. We just returned from 5 days at the Grand Paladium Palace. We went with only expectations of a beautiful beach, blue water, lots of sun, and great people. We found all of that and more. Here is what I think:
Five days is not enough
Apple tours are great
Grand Paladium is everything you could want. You can stay in your section of the grounds or explore the other two areas.
The food is not awful as many say. It is not wonderful. It is ok. We always found something that we enjoyed and were never hungry. Be flexible when you travel beyond your own boarders.
We liked having different nationalities around. If felt more like a get away. If you only want Americans then stay in America.
The hotel is everything we wanted. Clean comfortable rooms, great service, lots of bars and food areas.
The very best thing about Punta Cana is the people. I know that many have said that before me but I can’t believe how wonderful the people are. They are always smiling, energetic, upbeat, helpful, and friendly. They made the vacation for me.
Book now. If you find my points to be what you would want then you will not be disappointed.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
From 19 Feb – 5 Mar we spent one week at the Palladium Palace and the next at Bahia Principe. I chose Bahia second as I thought it was going to be the nicer of the two resorts, was I wrong. In Punta Cana we have stayed at Punta Cana Princess All Suites, Caribe Club Princess, Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort, Occidental Grand Flamenco and our favorite in PC Riu Taino (Palladium now ties). We have also stayed at Sandals Royal Hicacos Varadero, El Dorado Seaside Suites Mayan Riviera, Sunscape Casa Del Mar La Romana/Bayahibe, Tryp Cayo Coco, Grand Flamenco Occidental in Puerto Plata, Sun Palace Cancun and Aventura Spa Palace Mayan Riviera my two overall favorites with the latter being the nicest yet.
We flew Air Transat and arrived on time. We were one of the first flights so we quickly got through the airport formalities, got our luggage and found our bus. Even with no problems we landed at 11 and it still took till one to get to the resort. Our room was not ready but we were told to grab some lunch and our room would be ready in half an hour. It was!!! The room was more than adequate. A king bed (as requested) and a jet tub in the room. Lots of amenities, free safe, iron and board, blow dryer, coffee maker, shampoos, soaps, combs, Kleenex (no face cloths). Some pop, beer and water in the fridge. Lots of mirrors, magnifying mirror. The sink area was very small but the desk had a mirror, light and plug so was useful for hair and makeup. The bed had only two pillows, we requested two more at the front desk and they were there before bed. We mentioned to the front desk our air would not go below 24 degrees. We were told that is normal. We would have liked a cooler room and even with the fan on thought it was warm. We usually sleep in a very cold house summer and winter. We didn’t pursue this complaint any further. The only other complaint was the light over the sink and the light in the separate toilet area were on the same switch so anytime either of us got up during the night we blasted the other with light. At first I did not like our room location ground floor. I was worried about bugs crawling under. This did not occur. Later, I realized our room was close to the beach (no views) and went back to it to do my business during the day. The toilet just down the beach had only two stalls, very busy and usually by afternoon one was out of order. Our mini bar was restocked every couple days. The room was usually cleaned in the morning. One day our card for the air was out and stuck in behind. There was no clothesline.
The beach: This is why we go to Punta Cana. This resort covers a kilo of beach and beyond in either direction miles and miles of white sandy bavaro beach. We put our towels on chairs before breakfast to reserve some shade. By just after nine most of the shady spots were gone. The resort was at full capacity. There are lots of drink shacks along the beach but more toilets wouldn’t hurt.
Bars: There is only one drink at the lobby bars that are blended the rest are from slushie machines. Ask if you want with alcohol. I tended to drink more beer this trip and found the beer very light and refreshing. On the bavaro side between the pool and lobby is a Piano Bar (minus piano). In the evenings it was quiet with delicious blended and mixed drinks using premium brands, air-conditioned and smoke free. A great place for a nightcap. The Palace lobby in the evenings was quieter. Bavaro almost like a pick up bar some nights. Lots to watch. The wine at times was O.K. at other times very pucker power.
Grounds: Very clean with lots of landscaping. With the four resorts the walking is quite pleasant there is always something you come across such as a pool, restaurant etc. Lots of flowers and paths and lots of walking within the resort. If you take the train don’t let it influence you. The grounds are big but not as big as the train makes it feel. We would usually take the train to dinner and walk back once it was cooler.
Sports Bar: I really like the idea of 24 hrs drink and food. You can set your own schedule. The sports bar, although a little way from us on the Palace side offered pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, popcorn, nachos, salad and my favorite soft ice cream. Soft ice cream was also available in most the buffets.
Restaurants: This was a pleasant surprise maybe because I wasn’t expecting much. We found for every meal whether it was buffet or a la carte we got very good drink service. The coffee service was a teeny slow a couple mornings but never more than 5 minutes wait. The sugar water oops I mean what they called orange juice was the worse. They were constantly checking food temperature and handing our surveys. For lunch after trying all the choices we settled on El Behique (hope that is the right name) buffet in the middle resort. Seemed less busy, good service, good food choices and the whole restaurant was glass looking onto a pool. The dinner buffets were good. After trying them all we never found one was better. We could always find something to eat and the foods were the right temp. The gala buffet Fri was excellent offering duck, roast beef, rabbit, turkey, prawns etc. The themes were Sun BBQ, Mon Mexican, Tues Oriental, Wed Italian, Thurs Dominican, Fri Gala, Sat Spanish. We booked our three a la cartes the first morning. The desks to book are next to the lobby and are open in the morning and again in the evening. The menus to each are on a board behind. We told the three we wanted, the preferred time and we were booked for the week. We chose Gran Cantina Mariachi Tex Mex Mexican, Bamboo Asian, and El Quijote Spanish. All were all right food, very good service and better than the feeling of eating alone at the buffets.
Some of the workers who spoke English were surprising – a groundkeeper, egg guy and than some at the bars spoke almost no English. We kept our request very simple and usually only a word or two and had no problems.
In conclusion this resort is very good value for the money. I would recommend this resort for people wanting a quiet relaxing vacation with lots of space to roam. This and the Riu are the two best resorts we have stayed at in Punta Cana.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Jennifer & Sandy, Mike & Tina (Ages 45 - 51) Ottawa, Ontario
Recommendation: We would definitely recommend this resort to our friends! We had lots of laughter, soaked up the sun, relaxed and carefree. We left the kids at home (although we did see a few kids at the resort, vacationers were mostly adult couples). Many Canadians and Europeans .. not as many Americans as we expected. Everyone was friendly and readily shared advice of what they had enjoyed at the resort. Our orientation session was also worth attending!
Resort: The landscaping is very lush, green and everything is kept very, very clean ... including the washrooms by the pools and restaurants. The resort is very large and while there are large glassed in maps around the resort the maps do not provide a "you are here" feature. We found the small train that travels around the resort in 20 minutes to be an excellent way to get our bearings and learn where the various buffet and a la carte restaurants, bars, supermarket, stores, disco, spa and lobbies were.
Room: We stayed in the "loft suites" at the Palace and loved our room. The main floor had a washroom/shower, jacuzzi tub, living area with pull out sofa and tv, mini bar, closet to hang all of our week's clothes (with an electronic safe large enough to hold our cameras, papers and jewellery). The second floor loft had a king sized bed, dresser, tv and mirror. Both floors were air conditioned. The floors are marble and the rooms are kept very clean. One really nice touch was a magnifying mirror that was attached to the wall near the bathroom vanity mirror. We were on the 2nd floor with a balcony (two chairs, small table). We brought a clothesline (purchased at the dollar store) and it came in handy to string across the balcony to hang our bathing suites, etc. It is humid and everything remains slightly damp. The towels were very plush and were restocked daily as long as we left them in the tub. Two bathroom towels and two hand towels. There are no face clothes and soap is hard to come by. We left one of our room cards in the electronic slot at the door (activates the lights and air conditioning) throughout the day so that our room stayed cool all the time. We tipped our maids with gifts we had brought down (leaving them on our pillow with a note identifying our room/names). We spoke with them (in our limited spanish) and they were very gracious and appreciative and always showed us with the excellent service they provided to us. We especially enjoyed the towel creations (swans, hearts, etc.), fresh flowers by our jacuzzi, and restocked mini-bar. We also tipped the bar tenders, gardeners, bell boys ... bring lots of US $1.00 bills.
Food: The food is different but good. There are many "made to order chef stations" at the buffets and always plenty of variety. Everyone of all ages could definitely find a meal that pleased them (e.g. pastas, roasts, vegetables, salad bar, dessert bar, ice cream machines, fresh squeezed juices, etc.). We tried to visit each buffet restaurant but never did get to all of them. We booked our 3 al la carte restaurants immediately upon arrival (as they book up quickly). We enjoyed 2 of the three (mexican and italian but did not enjoy Laouba). The buffets had theme nights so we got a chance to sample the food that the al la cartes were serving. All restaurants provided fresh linen tableclothes, china and wine/water glasses. Spoons seemed to be in short supply. Two of the four of us did get diarhea (4 days into the week) but we are not sure what caused it (food, sun, rich foods, fruits, etc.). The water/ice is filtered but the tap water is not to be drank/used for teeth brushing. We lived in our bathing suites and sandals (and used syrongs and t-shirts) to get into the breakfast/lunch buffets. At dinner we did wear long pants/dresses. We tended to eat at 8:00 p.m. so that we could enjoy the sun until dusk (6:00 p.m.), shower/dress and enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail. Breakfast was 7-10; Lunch 1-3; Supper 7-10. Sports bar served food all day.
Spanish: The staff speak spanish and some of the main bartenders speak english. We had downloaded common spanish words/phrases and found this very helpful to have. Next time, we would bring a small phrase book to communicate even better. It took us a while to figure out how to ask for "cold milk".
Tours: We went on the two most popular excursions: Marinarium was a half day snorkeling day in the ocean on a ecological reef. The ocean was wavy so it wasn't ideal for snokeling but there were certainly lots of fish. We also were able to view sharks/stingrays in an enclosed caged area on the reef. We then spent the remainder of the cruise boozing and dancing along the coastline. Bavaro Runners was a full day and took us across the eastern point to view sugar cane, rice fields, cigar factory, a farm in the upper mountains, horseback riding. Our tour guide "Juan Julio or nicknamed Montesoumi" was fantastic and spoke excellent english. He took the time to teach us many things. He helped us hand out gifts to the children that we had brought (school supplies, hot wheel cards, ball caps, etc.). The kids were so excited to receive gifts - it's very touching! It was disappointing to observe garbage everywhere on the island (except our resort which was spotless). The Dominican people have not yet embraced recycling, etc.
Beach: The beach is fantastic and kept clean of seaweed. The sand does not retain any heat - it's white and powdery. There are security guards which ensure that no one is bothered. It was 85 degrees and beautifully sunny the entire week and the beach offered a welcome breeze. There was lots to see (topless women, parasailing, boogie boarding, sailing, etc.) ... but no sea shells unless you wished to buy them from a merchant. There are stores at the ends of the resorts as well as a shopping area. We went a couple of times and the merchants were not aggresive ... they just wanted us to come in to their shops and offer a price on their goods. We bargained at least 50% of their asking prices and found the items to repeat in each shop. The resort also had some of the finer merchants on site on the Thursday night for guests' convenience. The sunrise (around 7:00 a.m.) was well worth getting up to see. Sunset is on the other side of the island so we couldn't view it. We went through lots of different levels of sunscreens at the vacation progressed (60, 50, 45, 15, tanning oil).
Phone/Internet: We saved money by calling direct from our room (9-1-area code-number) and paying the bill at check out. We made 4 phone calls about 5 minutes each to Ottawa Ontario and it totalled about $14.00 US. We also purchased a card at the Internet cafe $8 US for an hour. We then were able to pop in to the cafe and check our email periodically or send messages (the hour doesn't have to be used all at once). We had set up a "hot mail" account with a mailing list prior to our trip just for this purpose.
Fun: One of us enjoyed a "hot stone" 50 minute message. It was well worth the $70 US dollars. Two of us enjoyed "parasailing" for 15 minutes. It was well worth the $70 US dollars and offered wonderful aerial views of the beach and resorts. If we were to do this again, we'd bring a disposable camera to take aerial photos. The guys also went golfing for a day at "Punta Cana Golf Club". It was 30 minutes away ($30 cab ride each way) and cost about $160 dollars each for 18 holes. It was a beautiful but extremely challenging course. We found out later that there were several other courses which were closer by ... but this was the only one where we could book a tee off time on the internet prior to our vacation. It is important to golf very early in the morning because of the heat. At night we road the tour train, walked the beach, and enjoyed the lobby entertainment. The disco opened at 11:30 and we found that too late. The theatre entertainment which began at 10:00 p.m. was mostly audience participation and majic shows and we tired of that quickly. The week goes quickly and in hindsight we wished we had lived each day like our last full day - don't waste a minute with trivial things - get out and enjoy what you want most to do.
Souvenirs: We brought back rum, cigars, vanilla and coffee - these are Dominican's exports and all great quality.
Airport: This was our only complaint. We had to wait in line for over 2 hours at the Punta Cana airport to check in. It was simply volume of people leaving on afternoon flights. We were very glad that we had dressed in our shorts and t-shirts and then changed on the airplane back into winter clothes. Other than this, we did not experience line ups or waits anywhere.
We hope you find this review useful as we certainly learned alot from Debbie's web site prior to our trip!
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
My wife and I had a fantastic time. We read countless reviews some good some bad and went with the attitude, "lets see what happens". we where not disappointed. There are many reviews describing the resort, and how to do things so I'll not repeat,they are accurate and very detailed. I will give a few pointers and suggestions, Take a travel mug ( we had one from home depot held a 1/2 gal ) for at the pool or beach, keeps beverages cold and sand out. The resort is big but not outrageous, it can easily be walked and the grounds are beautiful and well lit at night, felt very safe. We had a deluxe room at the palace, the room was nice but a little small, I would suggest going up a category or two it's worth a few extra dollars. Don't believe the weather forecast, we looked at several weather web sites and satellite images all said it was to be cloudy and rain, we had perfect weather one morning a 30 min shower one eve a light sprinkle the rest of the time clear skies and warm 85 high 65 low. Be sure to take plenty of sun screen, we are sun worshipers ( Vegas in mid July every year ) and took 5 bottles ( various numbers ) and just had enough. they sell it on the resort but it's $20 to $30 a bottle; also take some sunburn gel it will come in handy in the evenings. I would suggest taking a couple of nice pants and shirts for the guys, in the eve people tend to get dressed up; as for the ladies something light an summery and a little on the racy side ( I saw a lot of cleavage and leg this week ). The casino is small but allot of fun, take a little extra cash to play, the slots are only nickels and the tables have $5 min so you can play for next to nothing. Take a battery operated travel alarm for the room, the only clock is in the lobby. Lastly I would strongly suggest one morning getting up to see the sun rise, it comes up out of the water and is worth setting the alarm for. We have traveled to many place's throughout the Caribbean and Mexico, stayed at high end resorts and a few scary places, I would have to say Grand Palladium is a true value for the price, I would expect to pay much more for such a clean, exciting, and fun place.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Susan and Joe (Jose) Oakville, Canada
We returned from two weeks at Grand Palladium Palace Resort and Spa on Feb 1. It was a fantastic holiday even though it was windy and rainy for a few days. This is the third time at the same resort and first time we stayed in the Palace. I agree with the February 2006 review already posted and don't have much to add. The service in all aspects was excellent and we felt very comfortable. It was good to see Octavio again and feel he is key in making sure everything runs smoothly. I did not have a problem being understood in English at the reception desks, at the bars, or the restaurants. The friendly staff and excellent service really made our stay enjoyable. We will be returning next year.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
On Feb 3- Feb 9, 2005 we stayed at the Palladium Grand Palace Resort and loved it. My husband and I are 40 somethings from Atlanta GA who are both avid scuba divers. We’ve been to the Riu’s in Playa Del Carmen Mexico and there are some differences between those resorts and the Palladium at Bavaro Beach DR.
Resort: We loved the resort and the staff are very friendly. You are going to another country so don’t expect everyone to speak or understand English. Most of the other guests are from Russia, Germany etc so there are lots of languages being used and the staff can’t possibly know them all (which irritated a few people). Unlike Mexico where 80% of tourists are US, we are a minority here. You can always find someone who speaks English if you really need something and learning Spanish was part of the fun. The staff do love to help you learn their language buy the end of day 3 I could easily order my morning coffee “mas café con porquito leche”aka much coffee and a little milk. The grounds are lovely and the beach is beautiful. I thought the beach was prettier than Riveria Maya’s. We had a deluxe room with a partial view of the ocean. All buildings in the palace section are 2 stories and the rooms are large and well insulated, you don’t hear too much hallway or outside noise.
This resort is HUGE, I recommend you take note of your lobby then on day one take the train around the entire place just to get an idea of what is there.
Service on the resort could be bit slow, especially beverages at meals.
We would get our drink order half way through the meal but relax, they are on island time. We always got our drinks quickly at the many bars.
Food service was excellent and the food was good everywhere we tried.
Don’t forget to reserve your alacarte dinners on your first day. I highly recommend the Spanish, Dominican and Seafood restaurants. The Dominican style lobster at the Seafood restaurant is an extra $25 us but it’s excellent.
Diving: Day one we tried an Atlantic dive with Dolan Divers on the resort. We were told the seas were a little rougher than usual, but it was really rough. The dive shop was fine, the dive was not. The visibility was limited, 20’ or so and the reef and sea life was not impressive at all. Two of the five divers including myself got sea sick.
If you’re going to try the ocean diving take Dramamine, between the ride out and the surge pulling you to and fro it’s a rough dive. On day three we took a van ride to Bayahbibe (spelling?). We went with Pellicano Explorers who are located about a mile down the beach and picked us up at the hotel (35 min late but they got there) then the van took us to Casa Daniel Divers in Bayhabibe. Warning- do not pay for dives at Pellicano Explorers with a credit card, they overcharged us about $50 on top of their 8% credit card fee, pay in US dollars, they also give unfavorable DR peso exchange rates. As for the dives in Bayahbibe, we did a wreck and a reef and they were awesome. Better than the reefs off Riveria Maya. Amazing corals of all colors, lots of interesting fish. If you are a diver you can arrange a van ride to Casa Daniel and go on some amazing dives with them, plus the 2 1/2 hr ride through DR is interesting.
If you want to go whale watching in Jan –March make sure you check with the Funjet or Apple person on your first day, we found they only run tours twice a week and we missed it.
Money: take US dollars, you can use them everywhere and get the most favorable rates using them. Don’t use credit cards off the resort. Also there is only one ATM close to the resort, next to the supermarket behind captain cooks and it wasn’t working when we were there. The resort will not allow you to get cash from a credit card so bring the cash or travelers checks.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Lynne and Martin
We went down with a group of 13. Me, Lynne, my parents, my sister, her husband and 2 kids, Lynne’s parents and her brother and another couple. We stayed two weeks along with my parents and another couple, the others left us after one week.
My wife and I wanted a religious ceremony so there were a few more things to worry about. We did our research and found out that if we wanted it to be legal we needed a judge as well. The only thing the wedding coordinator did wrong was tell us before we got there that we didn’t need the judge and he cancelled the civic part. Funny how this wedding became a lesson in Dominican civics. Even the locals have two ceremonies. They get married in the church and then have a civil signing at the judge’s office, or so we were told. Ask a lot of questions before you get there...
We arrived on Saturday and met with Roberto, the wedding coordinator, on Sunday to finalize the plans. It was then that we heard the bad news about not having the judge for our ceremony on Tuesday. After we picked the flowers and the restaurant, we thought we would have had a choice but one was imposed on us. Then we became desperate because we only wanted one day to be our wedding day so he said he would try to contact the judge to see if she could make it on Tuesday. Luckily Roberto told us on Monday that she would be able to make it.
The resort is separated in 3 hotels. On the Fiesta side is the “nicer” gazebo in a garden, more private and intimate. The other is located at the Palace main pool. On Monday we were walking by the pool gazebo and I casually said that it would be nice to get married here in front of everyone too. Well someone must have heard me because later that night, I saw my brother in law and he said that they were tearing apart the garden gazebo. So I practically ran there to have look. This was at 11pm. They had completely taken off all the shingles of the roof and they were littered all over the floor and grass. So I ran back to the lobby and wanted to speak to a manager. He said there was nothing he could do and that Roberto would see me in the morning. What I can’t understand is that they knew we were coming for 6 months and they decide to do it that night!. Well there was no need to get my panties in a twist as they say because th! e most important thing is that we were getting married, there are worse things that could have happened. So we had it at the pool gazebo instead.
Lynne went off to get her hair done that morning and she brought a magazine picture to the hotel hairdresser, ladies I would suggest that you do the same, they don’t speak English very well, but they are very good at doing hair. She looked great. I think the cost was $55US. Her bouquet was not like the one we saw in the brochure though, it was so much nicer!
The staff had decorated the gazebo with flowers and palm tree and it looked great. We hired the trio band to sing, $75US for about 30 minutes. Nice touch.
It turned out to be little cloudy that day which was good because it was soooo hot. The clouds dropped the temperature to about 27 Celsius. It was nice to see everyone gather around the gazebo in anticipation of the wedding. They saw me standing around in my tux and I would guess 50-60 people waited about an hour, camera in hand for the judge to show up, she was 45 minutes late of course and then finally my beautiful bride. That is one thing we were afraid of when choosing the hotel that it wouldn’t be near the pool or too close to the beach and then have all sorts of people in the thongs and topless looking at our wedding but we didn’t even really notice the people. The civil part was done in about 10 seconds, we signed the register and bang, the judge was gone. Then came the Anglican part of the ceremony. It was a nice ceremony, as well the priest was great. We had met him the day before to discuss what we wanted, reading! s etc. All told it cost us more to do it this way $700US for the wedding package and $300US for the priest. We also paid to have some “champagne” after the ceremony I believe it was $25Us a bottle (Freixenet).
The best part of the wedding was of course saying I do to my wife and her not running away but also the wedding pictures. The photographer was amazing. Mauricio. Before we arrived on ground we were expecting to buy prints but all he does is digital pictures now. We ended up buying all the pictures for $400US all 283 pictures. He put them all on a CD. He even printed over 100 pictures that only had us in them, all the others included family etc. He even printed an 18”x24” poster for us. There are so many excellent pictures we couldn’t be happier with how they turned out and the professionalism Mauricio displayed. We met with him the day before to discuss prices and what we wanted and he showed us some examples. Unfortunately a close friend of his died the night before our wedding and he still did great work and we are very grateful for the work he did. I can’t say enough about his pictures.
After the pictures we gathered in the lobby and then headed out to the Spanish restaurant El Quijote for our wedding feast. I don’t know what the problem is with the restaurants, they were really get upset if you try and push some tables together to sit a larger group. We almost had to argue to get them to put three tables together. Anyways the food was great and they had a pretty big yummy cake for us. It was too much for the 13 of us so we gave the rest to another group where a couple was celebrating 25 years.
I’m not one to seek a lot of attention but everything really worked out well and it was nice to have people cheer and clap for us wherever we went that night. The hotel staff really made it memorable and I would definitely recommend the Palace for a wedding.
Just keep track and print your emails with the hotel and bring them along. Make sure you meet all the requirements to get married there and bring copies of all your paperwork.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
One area I found little about in your reviews, was Fort Fiesta, the camp for kids. My sons and nephews went every day for at least a few hours. It was a great respite for us. The counselors were warm and fun for the kids, and had lots of activities, including a pizza party , and an ice cream party. This was all included in our package. I found the hotel was great with kids.
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa
Sarah Ontario, Canada
Hello my name is Sarah. Im 15 years old and this is my first trip to a tropical place. My family and I went to Fiesta Palace, Punta Cana. I was Amazed with this resort.
When we finally arrived at the airport in the Dominican Republic the were to girls in traditional outfits waiting at the entrance and then you get a picture with them. (Which you can pick up when you are leaving for 5 dollars) But sometimes they don't turn out so they are not there which happened to us. We went and went through secruity. Next we were going to get or luggage which we found took a while. I think we were one of the last people who actually got our luggage. When we got or bags we went and found the represenative for our hotel. They showed us where our bus was. We decided to sit near the front as we would get to the resort around 5 pm. We were the second ones to check in. When we were waiting a waiter came and served us drinks. I think it was a fruit punch but not quite sure. After we checked in the bell boy showed us to our rooms. Once we got to our rooms we were not satisfied with them as they were on the 1st floor and had a smell to it, and we were looking more for the second floor with a beach view but not necessary as all the view is gorgeous. We went back to the front next and asked if it was possible to get a room on the second floor. The lady was very nice and helpful and gave us a couple of keys to go check out the room and told us to tell her what room we decided on and to return the keys. We were in the 19 something i think can't remember as it was 2 months ago. It was on the second floor and was close to the beach pool and the main lobby. My sister and i got the better room as it was our first trip to a place like this. We had abit of an ocean view but not much which was ok because we had other very nice view and your not in the rooms alot anyways. The only time we were in the rooms was for showers before dinner and bed we found. I found the room very nice and the beds were comfortable as you have to remember they are not a wealthy as we are. In the washroom we had some ants which didn't really bug us because thats the only place we ever saw them. My sister and I each had our own bed which was a double. Tip: don't drink the tap water as you will get sick. When taking a shower keep your mouth close and brushing your teeth use bottle water they supply enough that you will never run out and there will be no need to use the tap water. When my parents did some research on the internet knowing that this was their first time going to this resort and some people complained that there were not enough towels. That was wrong when we went there was always plenty of towels (beach and shower). They were always clean. The rooms were always clean and if you leave your pjs on your bed which i forgot to take off one morning (oops). They maids will do them up all fancy looking. It was really cute. The food at the resort was not bad considering i am a extremly picky eater. You can always find something for anyone. For the a la cartes they say you can only have one for the week, which is not true. We tried almost every restuarant as possible. We really enjoyed the tex mex as we really enjoy mexican food. But friends of ours didn't care for it as they are not big on mexican food. I didn't like the sea food place because i don't like sea food but my parents and my sister really enjoyed it. For breakfast we always ate at the buffet which was right across the lobby over the bridge. We always ate there because it was easy, variety, and staff was very friendly. For lunch we ate at the restaurant by the pool. They would bbq fish, chicken, pork, beef, hotdogs, hamburgers, ect. I really enjoyed the chicken nuggets and french fries there. But also enjoyed other dishes. There is so much food you will never be dissatisfied. I found all the staff was very friendly as we became really close to alot of staff there. The beach was gorgeous and was always keep nice. The seawweed and other floating stuff that lands on shore was always raked up in the morning to be keep neat and tidy. The water was a blueish green. The sand was unbeleivable. It was white and powdery. There were always enough recliner chairs for every one so that you don't have to go and reserve them before. Just as we wanted. there were shacks about 5- 10 mins down the beach where you can get you hair braided and buy things. Tip: Bargin them down even if you feel really bad for them like me because they make there prices higher then normal because they know that people bargin them down. Try to get them to go atleast 50% as i was told from a worker at the resort. The pool was also very nice which we did not spend alot of time at because we have a pool at home and its not everyday that you can go to the beach. The pool had a swim up bar, kiddie pool and a jacuzzie. The only thing we found by the pool was that there were lots of chairs but all the ones under a umbrella were saved by the time we went for breakfast about 8. So if you want to spend the dasy by the pool and want shade be prepared to get up early and put your towel there to save your spot. There is alot of entertainment there and you will never get bored. Actually the first night we where there we were in the lobby listening to the live band and having a drink and the people who work there called the fiesta fun organizers came up to me and my sister and asked us to dance, they don't take no as an answer. We weren't really in the mood to as it was a long trip and we just got settled and we were tired but they didn't know that. I am glad they didn't take no as an answer because i really enjoyed the dancing, though i was embarrassed. But hey your not likely to see the people that are watching you ever again. TRY IT! You will have a blast. The evening shows were different some where good and some we didn't care for. Different taste for different people. We never did go to any of the discos at the other resorts but we did go and check them out and walked around with friends we met up there. The resort is always nicely kept and the paths were always washed and swept. The staff is very friendly, helpful, and organized. As for tipping we tipped every other day instead of leaving it to the last day. We left money (pesos) on our pillows for the maid and waiters ect. For money they will take Canadian, American or Pesos. They will not take coins though as it is no good for them. So you don't have to get your Canadian money switched to American like we did. Overall My family and I really enjoyed our trip and the resort for sure. We hope to go back next year to the same resort.