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at the The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real
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The Reserve is Closed, Be Aware
Aug 11th, 2019
We booked our trip for The Reserve. However when we pulled in, we found out it was closed and they then dropped us off at The Grand Reserve. We had no notice of this, nor did our travel agent. The Grand Reserve rooms were definitely nice. Our room was about 1500 square feet! The restaurants were all really good. The resort pools were very nice. Would we go back to this resort? No. For an all-inclusive, the food we ate was good, the resort was beautiful and well maintained. But there were just too many disappointments and expectations that weren’t met for the amount of money we spent. I had done a lot of trip advisor research for The Reserve so I had a plan which restaurants we would go to, what our concierge was capable of, activities to be sure and do. However, moving to The Grand Reserve threw all of those plans out the door. The restaurants were all different, all casual. The resort was further away from the beach. So we had to take a golf cart there when we wanted to go. Not a huge problem but still hadn’t anticipated that. Our room faced a busy street, the loading dock, and the employee break area. So unfortunately, we weren’t super comfortable sitting out on our deck or using the deck hot tubs with traffic going by or seeing employees having their smoke breaks or delivery trucks dropping things off on the loading docks. Our concierge was disappointing. She did little more than make dinner reservations for us. I knew from reading a ton of other trip Advisor’s that she was supposed to do so much more. She would not reserve our cabana at the beach or by the pool. I had to specially tell her what I wanted her to do for my daughters birthday. Also to do something special for my husband and I. All of the things I asked her to do, she did try to do. But had I not known about any of it ahead of time, she certainly didn’t offer to do anything. She occasionally sent us an activity guide for the day but often in Spanish. When I would ask her something or request anything, it took at least an hour to get a response. When we arrived, we had to wait over an hour for her to come greet us and take us on a tour. I knew she was supposed to handle our drinks and snacks in the room. I had to ask her to sit with my kids and do that. Again, I knew from other reviews that this was part of her job. But she didn’t offer it up front. I did express my concerns with her not being very attentive (again, we aren’t high maintenance but I knew from all these other reviews what the concierge was there for and she wasn’t doing any of it). Her response was that she had 10 families at the same time we were there. Now, that is a lot to juggle. As soon as we found out we were in The Grand Reserve, I started doing as much research as I could for restaurants, etc. As the days went on, we learned that all the restaurants were closed for breakfast and lunch but 2. The website listed several more. But when we asked, they just said no, not right now. So our food options were definitely limited. Dinner reservations were fine. But at an all inclusive, it was definitely disappointing to know all these other options should have been open to us and weren’t. We also found out that since the resort had lost 76% of its bookings in the last 6 weeks, they had made some major cutbacks. The Reserve was closed for “maintenance” but rumor was because it had so few bookings at The Reserve and Grand Reserve, they just moved everyone to one spot in an effort to cut back. Restaurants that had lobster on the menu served shrimp instead, all week. Our concierge was definitely overrun with the amount of families she was in charge of. The beach was probably the most disappointing of all. It was covered in seaweed. There were efforts to clear it off but not near as affective as it could have been. But it didn’t really matter because the water was brown and chock full of it. The beach palapa beds (that we had to get ourselves) were fine. But we’re so crammed together that had the resort been full, it would have been miserable. They did have a good attentive beach bar staff who made sure we had what drinks we needed. The restaurant really good at the beach and was open for breakfast lunch and dinner so we ate there as much as possible. The water and sand were just so disappointing though. We walked about a half mile each way down and up the beach and it looked to be the same problem everywhere. We asked about it and they said it’s year-round now because of a seaweed crop that was growing about 100 meters off shore. Our kids typically wanted to just go to the pools. We didn’t pay all that money to swim in a pool. We wanted a beautiful beach. One of the excursions took us to a natural pool and it had clear water and no seaweed so it was beautiful. We did take the kids off property twice. Once to do a snorkeling and parasailing thing and another to zip line in the mountain. Both of these excursions we booked through the resort were awesome! The second excursion was annoying though because we stopped at 6 resorts to pick up people and then had to get off one bus and onto another twice. We were told they had to do it this way since the tourism was so low and they let drivers go. If we knew the zip line was going to take 1.5 hours there and back, we wouldn’t have booked it. Two of my kids barfed car sick from their crazy driving. Ha, there doesn’t seem to be any rules for traffic there! All of these complaints seem little but when you lump them all together and remember you paid about $15,000, it’s disappointing. I wanted to be specific in everything little thing so people know before you arrive. There are major cutbacks right now and it’s definitely affected the overall experience. It was so heartbreaking to hear some of the locals talk about how the media has killed their tourism. Stories about families literally relying on tourism to support themselves and now they have nothing. Makes us so upset with liberal and conservative media for blowing everything up. We never felt unsafe and we drank all the water and alcohol. We didn’t do any drugs though, nor mix prescription pain pills with exorbitant amounts of hard alcohol. We did love the climate and the people. The kids loved every bit of the trip. Our next trip will have to be someplace else though. Someplace with a better elaborate beach experience. I hope all of this is helpful! And again, no criticism to the DR! It’s beautiful and safe! TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Aug 5th, 2019
This resort has it all! An amazing spa, great restaurants, beautiful pools and beaches, even the gym is state of the art. Don’t let the news discourage you from coming to Punta Cana. I’m glad I didn’t. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Magical wedding week!
Aug 4th, 2019
We planned a destination wedding in Punta Cana and stayed at the Reserve. We stayed for 9 nights in a swim-up room and had the time of our lives. Our concierge, Edward was incredible!! He made sure we were well taken care of throughout our trip and helped us with any questions/issues we had. He was the concierge to many of our guests and even helped out some whose concierge were not as attentive. At the pool we were greeted each day by Gabriel P. who gave us first class pool-side service. On the day of my wedding, I spent the morning in the pool with several friends and family and Gabriel was there to make sure we all had our drinks and food. This resort is gorgeous. June was an excellent time to be there as it was pretty quiet and our swim up room was quite secluded. While we did not get married on the property we did observe a few weddings from afar and they reached looked gorgeous. Natalia helped to coordinate a welcome dinner and drinks for our wedding guests at the Gabi Beach Bar at the Main resort and she was incredible with details. We loved all of the restaurants but by far our favorite was the teppanyaki restaurant, Bana. That bar had the best mojitos we found all week! We also liked Vento's food a lot! You must try a coco loco to drink! Overall we had a magical vacation and wedding and cannot wait to get back to Punta Cana. The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country full of kind people and we are so thankful for everyone we met who made our trip so memorable! TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Jul 28th, 2019
This is our 5th time visiting this hotel and with each stay it only gets better and better. Besides being a stunning hotel, what has truly captured us to going back time and time again; is the attention and welcoming feeling from the workers. Just to name a few who made our experience just that bit better: Martín Ubiera, Arturo the executive chef, Eulin Martinez ,Gregory, Irving (our concierge), Felipe & Obeydis (at the beach), Jessenia, Raul, Luis (at the bar), Vanessa (room service), Amber and Yocasti (at reservations), Ruth (Spa), Adenawe Pérez. The food and the service was superb, my husband birthday week was definitely a success. Looking forwards to visiting again in the near future. Thank you all, Rodriguez family TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Jul 24th, 2019
I had my wedding at the Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa July 14, 2019. One of the nights we had dinner at the Rare restaurant. The food was terrible and got s number of my guests sick. I expressed this to my wedding planner who seemed surprised but did not have much of a response beyond that. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
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