We were at this Resort Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2011. This was our second visit to a Palladium Resort (Vallarta Nayarit in 2009) and cannot recommend either of these Resorts. Pretty poor service at both.
Let me start by stating that we enjoy travelling and make the best out of our vacations. We don't look for negatives or talk bad or complain about a resort while there. This does not help anyone. We have come across rude, obnoxious guests that constantly complain or raise their voices to be heard by all. We do not do that and it definitely does not help or solve anything. We have had excellent results at most resorts. The Palladiums however, have not sparkled.
We like to stay positive and look for good things in a resort, but had to search long and hard to find one here...Hemingway Bar..That's it.
We kept tipping as we always do so as to not receive any worse service. It did not help though.
We kept our unhappiness to ourselves until check-out. That is where I will start.
My wife went to check-out and I called for a bell-hop thinking I would be joining her within a few minutes..I waited over 20 minutes and called again..waited another 10 minutes and decided to take the luggage myself. My wife had started to walk back to the room and met me half way wondering what was taking so long. When I got to the reception area, there were 4 bell-hops standing around talking to each other. She told me they were standing there the whole time she was there waiting for me.
I voiced our displeasure privately and quitely about this and our whole experience..Reception response, or lack there of was as if they had heard this before..They just brushed us off. Not even an "I'm sorry to hear that". I asked to speak to the manager, but my request was denied.
Two days before leaving, we asked our concierge about late check-out. He asked our room number and he said no problem. "Just come back tomorrow afternoon and I will take care of that for you". We did as he asked, but this time, it was a problem. After he went through his well rehearsed, and I am sure over-used explanation of why we couldn't have late check out, I asked to speak to the Manager. The concierge was so kind (sarcasm) as to do this for me. He went into the office for a couple of minutes and came back with a "Too Bad" attitude. The manager was busy and could not come out, but he assured me that he confirmed what the concierge had told me.
Meanwhile, another guest, same concierge, was requesting late chek out and was granted the request. I asked how he could get late check out..he said he was with a different tour company...that was not true.
That guest came in on the same flight, had the same Transat Rep at the airport and was on the same hotel shuttle as us. I called him on it, and the stories just kept getting grander.
So, here we are sitting in the reception area, and the time-share rep comes over and asks us when we will be returning to the Palladium. First time I have ever heard a time-share rep without a comeback. He just turned and walked away. I then noticed him talking to our concierge. Perhaps he should have talked to him first.
The Palladium Bavaro has some of the worst overall service and concierge we have encountered in over 20 vacations.
Now to the beginning.
We booked through Transat Vacations. As others have written, the service you receive is awful at best. Perhaps this resort does not like the Transat brand.
When you book through them to stay at the Bavaro section, you end up in the Punta Cana section of the resort.
The first morning we asked our concierge to show us how the property was divided. He drew lines on the resort map to indicate the sections. We saw that our building was actually in the Punta Cana section and mentioned this to him. He then proceeded to draw a curve on the map that included a couple of buildings from that section and he told us that those were actually part of the Bavaro section..our building included. How convenient for them.
Cold coffee, anyone. You can get hot water, but not hot coffee. Not a great start to the morning if you enjoy a good, hot cup of coffee. The only place to get hot coffee is Hemingways...At night. This is where we would have a couple of after dinner drinks. We are not "big" drinkers.
Overall, the food was not bad at the Buffet, but the A La Cartes..totally different story.
I am not a fussy eater but the food at the a la cartes was cold (except for the Japanese) and unappealing.
We went to the Steak House twice. I tried the tenderloin the first time we went..they should really take it off the menu. Medium well means red to raw inside and cold, and it was not really tender. Had trouble cutting it with a steak knife. Anything but tender. I ate around the edges. My wife had the ribs..they were mostly fat.
Next visit, I tried the Grouper...It was terrible. Not sure how you make greasy, tasteless fish, but they did. Once again, could not finish it.
Not once, on either occasion did any server come over and ask how our meal was. They take your order, bring you your drink, if they remember, bring your meal and then vanish.
Same story at the Oriental Restaurant.
At the Mexican Restaurant, I received my food, my wife got hers over 5 minutes later. It's coming soon..She does not like seafood so I could not share my meal with her as she waited. I waited for her meal to come before I started eating. Her food came, wrong order...she ordered a dessert and we left after that.
The Japanese (Show) Restautrant was okay. Only reason the food is hot is because they cook it in front of you. Couldn't get a beer to wash it down, though. Asked repeatedly for one. Once again, too many servers. If you didn't drink wine, you didn't get anything but water. They did remember my beer at the end of the meal.
At every restaurant, I would ask for a beer with my meal when ordering. Sometimes it would come before the appetizers, other times I had to ask 4 or 5 times. Sometimes it would not show up at all.
The servers are not designated an area in the restaurants, so they are all involved in the process. I believe this is why they fail miserably with service in them.
The beach is large, but you better get up in the middle of the night to get a lounger. I would get up at 6:30 to walk the beach and saw that people had already started gathering 4-5 chairs under the huts and throwing 1 or 2 towels and the occasional sandal or magazine to hold them. This is not directly the resorts fault, but they should really implement some sort of time rule. Those chairs were not utilized until the afternoon. I guess they go down when the Disco closes, place their towels, go to bed, sleep til noon and then go to the beach.
The room was nice. It was cleaned at different times every day. Somewhat inconvenient. Towels are a very hard thing to get. You put 2 for cleaning, you get 1..you have to call to get the second one back. Ask for an extra one, it comes the day before you are leaving. Don't even try to ask for a face cloth (take your own). The pillows are pretty thin. They do have a pillow menu. Fairly pricey. We are pretty active during the day, so falling asleep (even on a wafer-thin pillow) isn't a problem. It was nice to have the extra shower/tub in the room.
The pathways are poorly lit, if at all in some places..be careful. Take a small flashlight with you.
Even the train broke down the day we decided to ride it. We were at the furthest point on the property (the Royal section) from the Bavaro when this happened.
Now the good. Hemingways Piano lounge. Nice lounge chairs and love seats. Smoke-free. Good drinks (even bottled Miller beer), and service.
We believe service is what makes or breaks a vacation. Poor at best.
The value for the dollar was average. Brought down to poor by the service.
Sleep is never a problem if you are active during the day.
Generally, the resort was clean.
Almost any resort on Bavaro beach is in a good location.
The room was spacious. It's a room. How much time do you really spend there.
Not big drinkers as mentioned, but they had Baileys for my wife.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC