A few things: this is the first all inclusive resort my husband and I have ever been to, so keep that in mind while reading this, and this resort is not for "resort novices" like us.
-- Bellboy service: fantastic! Always loading and unloading bags, cheerful, kind, always happy to help a lost tourist.
--room service: they have room service basically 24 hours a day (with limited menus depending on the hour) and were always quick to deliver.
-- cleanliness of grounds: the grounds, the beach, the pool, all kept clean and neat. There was always someone working on upkeep.
-- security: I always saw a security guard,no matter what hour of the day it was. They were non intimidating but were around. Also this resort is basically in 24 hour lockdown, no one comes in from the outside without a room number referral.
-- the spa: I had the hot stone/aromatherapy massage, 80 mins, and it was just amazing. I paid for it, obviously, but not much more than I would've at my home spa.
-- the food: the buffets are nice, I ate so much sushi and fresh fruit! The buffets change daily so you only eat the same stuff if you want to. Also, Aqua was great! Try the lobster risotto if you get a chance. Gabi beach was the buffet we went to most of the time and it's a nice casual place were you can roll off the beach, throw a shawl over your swimsuit, go eat, and then go back to the beach.
--ATM in lobby: it does only give out pesos BUT there is an exchange he service in the lobby across from the gift shop. Just have your passports handy to do this.
--cigar service in lobby: nice guys! Decent price!0
The "just okay"
--parasailing: first off, go to the main building on the resort beach (the large white building) to book this and just say "no gracias" and walk away from anyone who approaches you at the beach. The guys who work at the paradisus beach who book these wear white shirts with a red logo, NOT grey shirts. The parasailing was fun, not worth the money for five minutes of air time and a rushed on/off boat ride... which was intimidating and a bit scary for me.
-- the maid service/mini bar: very spotty! We had a few days of clean, in/out of room by noon and then a day where we had to ask to have it cleaned. We never got our bedding changed and there were days where towels would sit In our shower well into the afternoon waiting to be cleaned. The mini bar guy was MUCH more consistent! He was in and out every morning before noon. The maids were always nice and cheerful though!
--the trams: we didn't know about the trams until we saw a bunch of random people get on one and go. They are nice if you are willing to wait, and are really nice on muggy days, but reliability is spotty;I walked past one that was stranded with no driver and a bunch of people on it. Apparently it had broken down somehow, which doesn't surprise me given the state of these things. The drivers are always nice though, a good couple of guys who are willing to stop wherever to pick you up or drop you off. There main stops are the front lobby, gabi beach and the reserve.
-- the drinks: I get that the liquor isn't going to be top shelf, and I get that the drinks are going to be weak, but when I have a pina colada and I literally only taste pineapple, we have a problem. When rum and coke tastes like coke with lime in it and not even a hint of rum, that's an issue. They are "free" though, so I understand why drinks are made this way.
--the shuttle/mall: we weren't told about this at all and found out about the shuttle in a very round about way. I'm not going to review the mall, but it's nice that shuttle service with semi flexible run times is available.
--the vouchers: we found out about resort credits in a really round about way, you have to get them from the concierge in the lobby. Don't get too excited about these as they aren't as good as they seem. For a large group they might be more useful, but for us not so much. I used one on my massage, which did help cut cost, but otherwise they were pretty useless.
--the gift shop: overpriced, which is typical of any touristy place, but the art work is fair priced. Don't buy toiletries here, sunscreen alone will set you back up to thirty bucks a tube; just be brave brave and take the shuttle to the mall to get stuff like that. The mall has a Spanish speaking supermarket attached to it that takes both pesos and credit but nothing else. Save the gift shop for stuff like homemade artworks and cigars.
-- the concierge service: this was a joke! In order to eat at any restaurant that is not a buffet you have to talk to the Concierge found at Naos or the front desk. We were not told about this and were very upset our first day here when we couldn't eat because the buffets had closed and we were not told when they would reopen for supper; we asked a bartender who just said "closed" and looked at me funny when I asked when they are open, So the next day we waited in line at the concierge and were turned away because she was closing. The third day we got there early and booked three restaurants and were told to wait until the fourth day for our reservation notice. We got our notice to find only one of the three restaurants booked with a second listing for "BBQ." We had NO idea were the BBQ was or that it even existed because it wasn't one even listed on the reservation sheet and we were never told about it. The BBQ is also not on any map. The concierge lady is likely over worked and underpaided, this is NOT her fault; the blame lies with whoever organizes restaurant bookings. Quite frankly, we got screwed out of good food (only eating at Aqua for an actual sit down meal) because we were unaware we had to book restaurants. Plus I expected to be in at least two of our three choices, not just the one. We still had three full days left at that point so I was expecting more.
--lack of communication : we were whisked away to our room by an awesome bellboy the second we got off the taxi. We weren't told about nightlife, restaurants, shopping, the beach, the pool, buffet hours, nothing! We were on our own, which was miserable the first few nights because we were so clueless. Thankfully a lady told us about the Melia app, which helped us a lot! But again, that was another tourist, not hotel staff. My husband also wanted to do surfing lessons, which was a hassle because no one told him he'd have to go to a neighboring resort for that! He was left stranded in the lobby wondering where his ride was for a few hours until someone thought to make calls.
--language barrier: my Spanish is mediocre at best and the staff speaks enough English to help you with typical stuff, BUT if you need anything out of the ordinary be ready for a language barrier. This happened with my husband and the above mentioned surfing lessons; there was no way the bellboys could help him because we couldn't communicate between each other to figure things out; I am certain they wanted to help but didn't know how because we couldn't communicate. If you go to this resort, at least be semi-fluent in Spanish. You don't need to know it to order room service, more drinks, towels, etc, but I would hate to have an emergency and have a lack of communication.
--mangrove "tour": they had a few signs for this along the tram trail and I wanted to check it out. Big mistake, it's not a tour at all but just a little loop under a spider infested bridge with a big hole in the ground and fake trees. No signs explaining the types of mangroves, no info on wildlife, it's not even a hiking trail like they decorate it up to be. It's literally a hole in the ground where a water display used to be.
To summarize: I'm never coming back here again, nor am I going to suggest this resort to friends. It's not worth the money, time, or effort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the unpretentious luxury of Paradisus Punta Cana Resort. An extraordinary island retreat offering a super balance of natural and man-made wonders. Open-air architecture, featuring indigenous organic materials like raw coral and exotic hardwoods, houses an impossibly sumptuous gallery of luxury suites and an exclusive garden villa. All-inclusive and all encompassing, Paradisus Punta Cana Resort is an ocean front playground for all ages. Tennis, championship golf, every non-motorized water sport imaginable, a magnificent array of restaurants, our own casino, an incredible spa for kids, an exquisite full-service spa and health club and personal world-class service all seamlessly unite to deliver you the relaxing, romantic, carefree, fun-filled experience of a lifetime. The resort features 688 oversized suites including 143 royal service suites and 4 ambassador ocean view suites, plus a one-of-a-kind oceanfront garden villa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Paradisus Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana