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“Excellent resort - surprised about negative reviews!”

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Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Ranked #45 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Hanover, Ontario
Level Contributor
43 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Excellent resort - surprised about negative reviews!”
Reviewed 28 February 2012

My family and I are currently at the resort - 5 days down, 2 to go. I read many of the TA reviews prior to booking and took a chance, disregarding the negative ones. I feel comfortable posting this review while still into the trip. Here my 5 cents worth:
We arrived at the resort around 1pm last Thursday. The bus ride from the airport took roughly 50 minutes, mainly because on that day, we were the last to get off the bus. Several resorts are handled by the same bus company, which is normal. Upon arriving, we were informed that check in is at 3pm, which we knew ahead of times. I asked if we could get into our room early but were told that it wasn't ready, yet. My immediate thought was that this is hotel policy and that management doesn't want people checking in too early. I later had to eat my own words because upon entering the room, we found the marble tiles still partially wet from cleaning. As well, although prior to check in time, we were given our all inclusive bracelets so that we could enjoy lunch while waiting on the room. A nice gesture by the front desk clerk, which he didn't need to do.
We opted to pay a bit more for the Jr. suite which was perfect in size for the three of us. King size bed and a pull out sofa. The sofa is comforatble enough according to my daughter and the king is as well. The pillows could be a bit softer. The room has a 27" TV with many channels in a variety of languages. The picture is a bit fuzzy but ok. As well, we have a nice porch with 2 chairs and a small side table (plastic). We asked our travel agent at the time of booking if he could request ocean view. As many of the buildings are not exactly right at the ocean, 3 buildings are. We lucked out and received room 3032 - ocean view. Once a week, this room ay be a problem as a fairly loud beach party happens right behind it. That first night, I didn't have enough rum into my system yet so it kept me up for a while. Other than that, the room was quiet as we heard our neighbors only sometimes. Another plus, a beautiful pool plus bar/swim up bar is right behind the building. Back to the room, the bathroom seems small at first but due to the fact that the sink is outside of the bathroom, we had ample room to move around. I highly recommend room 3032!
The grouds of the resort(s) - 4 resorts in total with one reserved only for Royal Suites guests only, are very clean, very well look after - basically spotless. A large groundkeeping staff looks after the place and you can see that they take pride in their jobs! I have to take issue with the negative reviews regarding the large size of the three resorts you can eat, drink and play in!! Although a tram stops and many differents spots every 15-20 minutes or so, I was faster walking to any point in the three resorts. Our resort is in the middle of the three but even if it were not, you can easily walk anywhere. The a la carte resaurants are within 5 minutes by foot, so are at least 3 buffet restaurants. Please don't aver your decision to book here due to the larger size; that concern is totally unfounded! On the positive side, you get three for the price of one!
Our beach was beautiful - no doubt when you look at the web side pics. I have to admit though, tat the 2 adjoining resort beaches looked just a small bit nicer. If you look for beach activities, our resort had it all while the other two were more on the quiet side. You decide - and in any case - a five minute walk in either beach direction will put you onto the beach of your choice.
As to the restaurants, we syuck mainly to the buffet style ones due to my daughter being a vegetarian. I found the food very good, the restaurants were very clean and selection was plentyful. There's a different theme every evening so you won't get bored. Sometimes rum tasting at night, champagne for breakfast, etc. My wife is a chef and I'm a bit of a foody so I carefully say that I may think what I'm talking about. Which brings me to the a la carte restaurants, which you don't need to make reservations for if you show up early (6-30pm to 7pm as in early - big plus!) We only went to the Japanese restaurant - which was ok but just that. Having spent years in Japan, one can understand why. I assume this is the same in the Thai, Italian, etc restaurants but that is only an assumptions since I did not eat in these. I find it's best to eat local food where you live and not try to eat exotic stuff from different countries. The buffets provided a good selection of local foods.
One buffet issue: Europeans have very little buffet etiquette and it seems that the stronger and faster gets the last boiled egg sort to speak. Being originally from Germany (but many years in North America now), I had a German tourist take my omelette this morning because - well he seemed just more hungry even though I was in line before him. He in turn ended up with mine and I had to eat his, which lacked cheese! If you are from North America - this behaviour may bother you at first. If you are from Europe - you already have your running shoes on to beat the best man/woman to the salad bar!
There are numerous bars and swim up bars throughout the resort and you won't go thirsty. Tipping is not a must but I typically spent US$ 20 in tips per day to show my appreciation.

This is my 4th trip to the Islands, with Jamaica, Cuba and St. Thomas already in the bag. I have not returned to any of the resorts yet - but will to this one. The Ritz Carleton on St. Thoams was very nice but a bit rich to return to for the time being.

I hope this review will make the doubters amongst us think twice and give it a chance

Room Tip: Jr suite 3032 - by the beach and pool - ocean front.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
25 Thank Holzwurm99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rsegarra, General Manager at Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 8 March 2012
Greetings!! Thank you very much for your nice review about your stay in our hotel. All comments are very important for us and help us to improve our service and facilities day after day, as our commitment is to provide the best service and attention at all times to our guests.

Thank you again and we look forward for your next visit, and please, do not hesitate to contact us for any request or further comment.

Kind regards,
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English first
Franklin, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2012

Just returned from vacation at the Grand Pallidium Resort Complex in Punta Cana.
We were booked for the GP Punta Cana Resort & Spa, but at check in were given a room in the GP Palace Resort. This resort is comprised of four resorts, each with its own reception area. With exception of the Royal Suites Section, guests can use all the facilities of any of the resorts. This amounts to 7 ala carte resturants - no reservations needed & if you go before 7 p.m., there is no waiting - four buffet style resturants, and a 24 hour snack bar with a great variety of offerings. You do not lack for bars to chose from either. There are four swimming pools.
The landscaping is absolutely beautiful, and there is plenty of shade near the pools for those who do not want to be "overdone" by the sun.
The rooms are large and very quiet. One warning, the jacuzzi tub is located in the room itself, okay for a couple, but no privacy if traveling with children.
One quirky thing, and our only complaint, was the maid service. The quality of service is not a problem, she did a great job cleaning, but you never knew WHEN she would service your room. One day she was knocking before 9 a.m., the next you would come back to the room at 4:30 and she still had not serviced the room. We even had a knock on our door at 8:30 p.m. asking if we now wanted the room cleaned (we had posted a "do not service sign" on the door during the day. So keep the chain on the door if you plan to use that in room jacuzzi! Oh yeah, even if your room is serviced in the a.m., expect a knock on your door in the late afternoon when the maid returns to replenish your towels.
The staff at reception, at the bars, in the resturant, throughout the resort were friendly and the service was very good. Some resturants were slower to bring you your food than others, but that is the lifestyle there.
Hint .. stick with the pork, chicken, or fish, the beef in three of the ala carte resturants tended to be dry and a little tough. Otherwise, the food is good whichever resturant you chose and the menus for all are posted outside each resturant, even the buffets.

Room Tip: We were in building 87. This is very central within the resort. We were near the resturants, the rec...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank jvw1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rsegarra, General Manager at Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 8 March 2012
Thank you very much for the time to express your comments about the hotel. Yes, The Palladium Punta Cana Resort is 3 x 1 book one and enjoy three...

Thanks again for your nice comments about our grounds, service and our friendly staff. It would be a pleasure to welcome you very soon.

Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mississauga
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2012

We stayed at the hotel from Feb 02-09 2012. Family of five, 2 adults and 3 children aged 6-10. We loved the hotel. Grounds are awesome, very clean. We loved the walkways throughout the hotel. Beach is breathtaking. White sand, clear waters no weeds.
We stayed in villa 3000, on second floor. We had ocean view room. The building is just few steps from beach, one of the pools, practically we walk out from the building to the pool from one side and beach from other side. Villa is located across from lobby, main buffet restaurant, main pool, kid’s pool and kids club. Room clean-but not spotless. Air conditioning was quiet in the room. Bathroom was spacious and very clean. Plenty of towels. Beer and drinks replaced every day. Pools very clean not crowded, sometimes it was hard to find empty beach chairs. Kid’s pool was awesome, knee high water with slides and splash pad. My kids loved it. Main pool has also some shallow areas for kids to play and swim-up bar. Buffet restaurants were clean ands lots of food variety. Every time you enter the restaurant a drop of hand sanitizer is dispensed on to your hands.
We ate at Japanese, Chinese, Brazilian and Mexican la carte restaurant. All of them delicious only at Mexican we had to wait long for food to come. No reservations needed.
Staff always smiling, happy, no one was waiting for tips. Public washrooms very clean.
Night shows interesting; we liked most the circus show. Children loved the train that takes you every where you want. We drove one night for 45 min. around the hotel, you have to try it to see how beautiful the grounds and hotel are.
I would recommend this hotel to all age groups. Definitely this hotel is family (children) friendly but elderly people will find some peace too at other pools which are quite and relaxing.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank moniakam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rsegarra, General Manager at Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 8 March 2012
Thank you for your review. We are more than happy to know that you have had such a fantastic time during your vacation here with us. We are grateful for your comments about our facilities and staff as we work continuously to make our guests' vacation memorable.

Thank you for having stayed with us and we look forward to your visit in the near future where we will be happy to host you Palladium.

Kind regards
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2012

So my husband and I just got married here (with 50 guests) and there were parts of our trip that were amazing!
-The beach (absolutely gorgeous, white sand, clear water... just beautiful)
-The reception (dinner was great at El Bohio and we danced in front of the ocean with the breeze coming through the restaurant)
-The pools and swim up bars (very clean, high energy areas generally with a few open chairs)
-Hemmingways, a great place to meet friends and have a few good drinks
-Bamboo the Chinese/Japanese restaurant was pretty good and the Hibachi show/food was excellent.
-There is a sports bar open 24/7

Then there were the parts that were ok but not great...
-My wedding ceremony was not private at all on the beach (they say they can't do private ceremonies) and there were people taking pictures everywhere and topless europeans behind us as we were saying our vows (no exaggeration)
-The actual ceremony itself was dwindled down to about 3-5 mins (no exaggeration here either)
-The Dolin Dive center is legit, but we had an excursion of 20+ people for snorkeling and when I asked if there were enough masks they said "yes! yes! on boat" Then I asked again once on the boat and they said yes again...well once we got out there to snorkel...sure enough there were NOT enough masks... they sent someone back to get more but this is just one of the many issues the language barrier can cause. The excursion itself was ok, the snorkel part was only about 30 mins then they take you to an calm area by other party boats and give you lots of rum and coke... overall it was a good experience, I would have liked to snorkel longer.
-There was a free excursion through Apple to a cigar factory, this was ok, it was neat to see life outside the walls of the resort, but it was a big tourist trap...they take you to a place where two guys are rolling cigars and tell you the process then take you to a giant gift shop where you can buy souvenirs, rum, cigars, mamma-wanna, vanilla etc. The prices are high and all prices are negotiable...

-My husband did the zip lining excursion and absolutely loved it. He said the scenery was beautiful and had a blast.

-The food at the buffets are ok, I just really got grossed out by the breakfasts. The eggs looked undercooked and the bacon/sausage was scary. Lunch is a different story...much better!

-The a'la carte restaurants were pretty good overall (I liked the ox from bamboo and the hibachi the best) but expect to wait at least and hour and if you have a group larger than 4, split up right away or you could end up waiting for hours (literally, this happened at the steak and seafood restaurant with a group of 5 of us)

-The rooms, nothing wonderfully special...they were clean and spacious but those on the first floor had a musty odor to them (from the humidity I'm quite sure), and most of the rooms could certainly use nicer beds and updating.

-This resort is very spread out and is fine for most people, but we had some elderly couples come for our wedding and although there is a shuttle, they had difficulty getting around.
-The disco, stinky but fun.
- Check in, many rooms were messed up and not as requested through the apple representative, many double beds instead of singles, some junior suites when they were supposed to be lofts etc...
-The market on the beach just outside of the resort, this is the place to go for cheap stuff, BARGAIN! Do not pay anymore than 50% of what they are asking. They are pushy, but if you can handle it and wheel and deal, go for it (my mother in law got some great jewelry and talked it down from 65$ to 15$) They also have cigars, rum, paintings etc...

Then the UGLY
-Dont go to the casino, it is a scam...it is rigged for sure and not owned by the resort!
-Don't leave anything out (someone from our party left 80$ in his wallet in pant pockets on the floor and 60 of it was stolen)* This most likely was not the maid, but maintenance men in the building...Lock everything of value up!!
-The gift shops on the resort... highway robbery!!

Room Tip: Rooms in the 3000,4000 are best for those who like to be close to the lobby/buffet etc...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Emily T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rsegarra, General Manager at Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 8 March 2012
Congratulations for your wedding!!! It has been a pleasure for us be part of it... It is great to hear that everything was fine in such special date. Thank you for consider amazing some parts of your trip!!!

Best regards
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Hamilton,Ontario
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2012

We have stayed at all the Grand Palladium sections in Punta Cana, and have had an awesome time! We always stay for 2 weeks and just came back in January. We are going again in March for 2 weeks again. It has always been the best of vacations.
The staff has been awesome. Always happy!
The food has bee quite good. Perhaps we didn't like everything at the buffets, but we were always able to find something good to eat. The a la cartes are great, there is one we are not fond of, but that is our choice....
The rooms have been great, clean and safe, and that's all I care about.
I can't say enough about the resort. We have always made our own great time there. Sure there are vendors, but just say no gracias, and that's that... We have never had a problem with them.....or if you see them coming, I just pretend that I am sleeping......
We are early risers, so we do get up and pick our chairs for the day. We use those chairs for the entire day!

Room Tip: go and have fun, and go with an open mind..... it's a great place!!
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank vilkas49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Address: Avda. Francia s/n | Playas de Bavaro Higuey, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#27 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): €€€
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 535
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa enjoys a privileged, sea-front location on the renowned Playa Bavaro. The resort, located on a sprawling estate of lush tropical vegetation and a coconut plantation, is next to the Grand Palladium Bavaro Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino & Royal Suites. The facilities of these adjoining resorts are open to guests of the Grand Palladium Punta Cana (excluding the Royal Suites). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort And Spa
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort Spa

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