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“An Exceptional Experience”

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The Palace at Playa Grande
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Rio San Juan
Nyack, NY
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“An Exceptional Experience”
Reviewed 21 March 2012

We just got back from a week at the Palace and had one of the best vacations ever. While the hotel, grounds and views are all stunning, it really was the staff that made this stay so wonderful. They all go out of their way to accommodate every request and they always have smiles on their faces. Other reviews mentioned that the pictures don’t do this hotel justice and I would have to agree. Being immersed in the beauty at every angle was so utterly relaxing and peaceful.
We stayed here with our 8 month old and our 2.5 year old. The hotel is very romantic and great for couples but it was also perfect for families and they had everything to accommodate the children: cribs, pack-and-play, highchairs, children’s games and movies and even baby floats and kids’ snorkeling gear available. They also have a ping pong table and a pool table. The upper pool was very shallow with an entry incline which was perfect for little ones and the 5 resident peacocks were also a big hit.
We stayed in the Royal suite on the 3rd floor of the main building and the hotel’s beach was 3 flights down the cliff via a circular staircase which passed by the Cliffside suites. So needless to say we got our daily exercise going up and down. They did have an elevator in the main building but that was only turned on in the evenings.
The dining tables were set up on the outside patio and each couple / family had their own designated table. All meals were served here but you always have the option of requesting a meal elsewhere like in your room or poolside or as a picnic on the beach. Breakfast was served from 7-9am, lunch from 12pm-2pm and dinner from 7-9pm. The food was all very good, fresh and healthy. In the late afternoon they serve you some gourmet nibbles and drinks whether you are down at the beach or poolside. There are always drinks and snacks out in the open-plan kitchen where you can help yourself whenever. In the evening it is a bit like a cocktail party where everyone gathers to chat before dinner. It was all so lovely and elegant. You really do feel like a guest in the private home of an eccentric and generous host.
Housekeeping comes by to clean the room and collect your laundry during the day, and then they come by again in the evening for turn down service and to deliver your clean clothes. When we arrived the room was filled with fresh flowers and the Jacuzzi was filled and waiting.
We had a car rental and visited a number of beaches along the coast. Playa Caleton was a pleasant, protected bay just a few minutes west of the hotel, with calm waves and locals who serves you drinks or meals right on the beach (they will actually bring out a table with chairs and plop them in the sand wherever you wish to dine). Playa Diamante, 20 minutes to the east, had great reviews as being calm and good for children but the sand was so fine it was like mud and it just smelled bad there. Playa La Entrada, 5 minutes further west, was gorgeous. A river empties into the sea here and there is a vast spread of sand with calm waters.
The review just before this one really covers it all and I would agree 100% with everything they said – the sound of the ocean, the beach, the grounds, the tranquility, the food, etc. I think we were there at the same time (hence their reference to the children?). Thank you, thank you to everyone at the Palace for making our trip as perfect as it could be! We cannot wait to return.

Room Tip: Everyone seemed to have the same question about tipping - when and how. We all agreed it was best to...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank skbrum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
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  • English first
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2012

We just spent 3 nights at the Palace at Playa Grande. The photos were beautiful, but when we stepped out of the taxi and were greeted by the staff with a drink and caught a glimpse of the gorgeous views, it was even better in person. This place is so beautiful with amazing views, detailed architecture in the palace and a very friendly and warm staff. We were lucky enough to stay in the ocean front suite which is separate from the main building.

room - we loved our suite, it had the most unbelievable views of the ocean and we went to sleep and woke up to the sound of the waves crashing. The housekeeping staff was great and provided service 2 times per day and even did any laundry. They did turn down service with some chocolates and always provided us with bottled water. The shower was great and the bed was fine. the real amazing part was the sound and views of the ocean. you felt like you were out on top of the ocean.

grounds - the grounds were quite spectacular. we spent all day just moving around from the small round pool on the water down below, to the beach to the pool area and never felt bored, there was always something to do or explore. it felt like we were the only ones there on the property. it is just so quiet and peaceful and even though there were children staying there at the same time we never heard them at all. i think this is because the way the grounds are designed its very tranquil. the flowers and landscaping is really nice and mature with lots of shade everywhere.

the beach - the beach is quite small but very beautiful and private. we were always the only ones down there swimming. when we were there the current was very strong so we couldnt swim far out. the sand is very nice and clean and the water is also very clean.

food - the food was good. it almost felt like you were having dinner at a friends house. we ate every meal outside and you can eat by the pool or on the veranda wherever you please. they would provide you with a daily menu so you could choose from a few options. some were great some were pretty good.

the staff- the staff was all so kind and friendly. one of the great things about this hotel is that even though its very luxurious, beautiful etc. there is a very comfortable feeling that makes it feel unpretentious. I think the staff helps create this feeling and ambiance. they are professional but not stuffy like some other higher end resorts. they were really accommodating and just wanted us to have a comfortable pleasant stay.

Misc. - there were some peacocks that walk around that were great to watch. I had a massage which was very nice out on a deck. the spa is very extensive which is surprising for a smaller boutique hotel like this one. the prices were about the same as home. They also have a car that will bring you around to nearby destinations if you want to go to the playa grande beach 10 mins away. we went there one afternoon and got drinks made in coconuts.

Overall this is probably our fave hotel so far, the grounds, the views, the sound of the ocean, the warm and friendly hotel staff, the beautiful weather! This may be the only time I have ever said that I would consider returning to a hotel again because it was that spectacular! We hope you visit this hotel and enjoy it as much as we did!

Room Tip: the suites in the separate building out on the ocean, although more expensive, they are very beautif...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank bos_traveler44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Centreville, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

I just returned from the Palace (traveled from 02/14 to 02/21). We had rented the entire property as a private villa. The property is by far the most magnificent property I have stayed at. The Palace is even more majestic and beautiful than the website reflects! The grounds are impeccably clean and well kept. The rooms and suites vary in size but they are all very distinct and charming and each of my guest felt at home in their rooms and only reported sleeping comfortably. The private beach is small and seasonal but it was so much fun to catch the waves and once tired, a lazy afternoon at the pool was in order! All of us enjoyed everything this phenomenal property had to offer. The service was beyond friendly. From our arrival to our departure, the staff was fantastic! Always going above and beyond by anticipating my and my guests every needs and always asking for feedback. My birthday celebration at The Palace was a once in a lifetime, phenomenal experience. I had envisioned palatial treatment to welcome this new birthday milestone and I was served exactly what I had ordered! Indulging in 2 massages while listening to the crashing waves were an added bonus.... I cannot express enough how divine the entire experience was! I definitely look forward to returning in the future.

One suggestion: I would recommend updating the gym for those who are trying to stay fit during their vacation.

On a side note - I had the privilege of visiting the owner's quarters. Absolutely beautiful! I hope that he will agree to include it as part of the rental property in the future...simply gorgeous and serene!

Room Tip: Suites 3A and 3B are gorgeous with hot tubs...2A and 2B are beautiful as well...minus the hot tubs...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank D B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lititz
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2012

What are the ingredients for a perfectly romantic anniversary getaway - 30 years of bliss? The site, the staff, the guest, and location all combine for the surreal. The real measure of a resort destination are the memories that survive the test of time. The web site photo gallery accurately depicts the many amenities of location, design and attention to detail. Not portrayed however is the exceptional service of staff - think English butler with a smile. There is no need to lock your room as the property is completely secure and safe. The Palace grounds are more than ample to accommodate their limited number of guest rooms. The beach and pools present ample opportunity for alone time. Romantic dinners sited wherever the moment moves you are accommodated and suggested. The food and beverage are without limit and of exceptional quality. A three night stay is too short to venture off property. If you do however, use Palace transportation as this sea of tranquility is amidst an island besieged with economic despair - airport transportation is well worth the van fee. Would we return - in a heart beat.

Room Tip: You get what you pay for. The balcony rooms are spacious. Cliff side rooms are self contained suit...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank monthslater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lexington, Kentucky
Level 6 Contributor
79 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2012

Attended a wedding at The Palace and was very impressed. I believe all the guests enjoyed it very much. The location is stunning. The staff was very helpful with the wedding.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lexfrank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 January 2012

When I die, if I get to go to heaven, I want it to look just like The Palace at Playa Grande. When I first saw the pictures, I thought they had probably been photo shopped, yet it does look just like the pictures or better. One visual I had that I didn't get a snap shot of, yet burns brightly in my memory was peaking out after the rain at night and seeing the lanterns on the railing reflected perfectly on the patio. If I was CezanneI would have painted that image. The other burning memory I regret not taking a picture of was all of the ladies on the staff on the third balcony wishing us well on our departure and blowing kisses and waving good bye. Forever that will be an image that burns warmly in my heart. We had three nights of total bliss at the Palace and were the only guests at the time, being mid week. The staff could not have made us feel any more cared for, pampered and spoiled. When laying out by the pool, even without asking, Carlos brought us some papa frites and soda's, just in case we were hungry and thirsty. Juan Carlos, the amazing manager at the Palace arranged to have DR's finest amber and latimer jewelery brought in for us to purchase one evening. Since we were there such a short time and wanted to kick back and relax, we didn't have lots of time for shopping, but did want to go home with some of the specialties of the area . DR does not have the same resources and economic base as we do in the US, so it felt good to spend some money there and help the local economy. With the limited infrastructure in DR, one must understand that the electrical is provided by a generator although we never heard it running, there were slight interruptions in power from time to time. I must admit, I looked a lot younger in the dim yellow light when I couldn't see the wrinkles. The yellow lights also kept any insects away and we never saw one mosquito, which I had been concerned about before going there. It was a challenge to get your hair washed and shower before the hot water ran out, but the cold wasn't dreadfully cold, actually rather refreshing.
We took advantage of the spa services while there, and my husband even went back for a second massage the next day he loved it so much. He was in very good hands with Nika.
Phillipe took us to see the near by cave, Blue Lagoon, water fall, beaches and then went in the bank to help and an electronics store for us to get a new sim card for our camera. We were lucky to have him to take us around and be our local guide for the afternoon.
I am so happy my husband and I had an opportunity to share this special place and time. I would love to go back with my grown children and their children some time soon for a family reunion and I have recommended it to my nephew as a wonderful spot for his upcoming honeymoon.

Room Tip: Take advantage of The Palace staff arranging your transportation from the airport. It was so much e...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EAO9218
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2012

For my birthday I had the pleasure of staying at the Palace. If you are looking for just a relaxing time away from your busy and stressful life this is the place to visit. The staff is so professional and the nicest people you could ever meet at an establishment. In my view this place is not for children. The meals were great, the service was excellent, and the establishment is beautiful. My experience was fun and romantic.

We stayed in the Royal Ocean Front Suite with Balcony/Jacuzzi room (which was an upgrade from what was originally booked). It was cleaned 2 or 3 times every day and every night the bed was turned down. Anything we needed was serviced. Because it was my birthday (which they did not know beforehand) they even made it possible to have a whole birthday cake for me which was very nice.

Yes, if you want to experience the culture of DR you will have to drive to one of the nearest towns (closet is five mins away) but it is not a big deal. They offer tours and expeditions during your stay along with spa services.

If the opportunity ever presents itself again I will definitely return to the Palace.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ANR113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Palace at Playa Grande

Property: The Palace at Playa Grande
Address: Calle Rio San Juan | Playa Grande, Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Maria Trinidad Sanchez Province > Rio San Juan
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Rio San Juan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Palace at Playa Grande 4*
Number of rooms: 13
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Also Known As:
The Palace At Playa Grande Hotel Rio San Juan

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