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Reviewed 14 August 2018

I don’t typically write reviews, but I used TripAdvisor to research this trip extensively, so I wanted to leave an honest review for anyone on the fence. I have traveled across the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America and stayed at various hotels/resorts. Some were all inclusive while others were not, some more luxury than others and I would, unfortunately, have to say that this is the worst experience that I’ve had. I selected this luxury resort as I was travelling with my small children as well as an elderly family member. We were thoroughly disappointed!

One of our suites was not ready at check in although we arrived after check in time. Once we entered our two suites, we found that numerous things did not work. One suite did not have a working phone and the TV in the bedroom did not work. The light over the table in the other suite did not work and the TV in the bedroom also did not work. Neither suite had washcloths. We called down to Guest Services to inform them of the issues. This spiraled into a repeat back and forth with several employees for these simple requests. While I understand the English is not the primary language in DR (and I’m more than comfortable with language barriers), communication at this resort was more difficult than normal. It took two days and 6 different employees (finally a manager) to obtain washcloths for my family. The rooms and bed linen had a mildew smell that was really difficult to deal with. I understand the tropical locale and humidity; however, this is the first time I've ever experienced this smell in our room.
That’s unacceptable at a luxury resort. That is not something you expect to have to deal with on vacation.

The food was below average. I found their reservation system to be flawed in many ways. If you do not have reservations at a restaurant, your only option is the buffet or room service. The buffet (especially the one at The Reserve) left much to be desired. There were no a la carte options if you did not want to sit down for a long meal. There were also very few opportunities to experience Dominican food. I always enjoy immersing myself in the culture of the country that I’m visiting and this resort did not give us that option. You had to jump through hoops to get reservations at the restaurants only to arrive and the restaurant be empty. Why the fuss if the restaurant is not fully booked? Again, that is not something you expect to have to deal with on vacation.

I’m used to jovial employees and guests when I’m on vacation. The vibe was mediocre at best the entire trip. I encountered very few happy employees. Some came around after tips, but others never did. I got the impression that they just weren’t happy, which was disheartening. Our fellow guests were also not very friendly.

Overall, I will not be returning to the Dominican Republic. While the manager and concierge that I complained to tried to make things right, the damage was done. I don’t expect to have to make complaints on my vacation, especially when staying at a luxury resort! Although, it is not their fault, it is worth noting that the seaweed problem is terrible! Don't expect blue water as it's brown. We didn't get anywhere near the water as the seaweed overtook the coast each day. This trip was completely derailed by an awful airport experience on our way home, which solidified our decision to never return. I really looked forward to this trip and did extensive research before selecting this resort. The reviews let me down this time.

*Caution for people traveling with children*

Please think long and hard about the water issue. I made light of the situation and it honestly should have been a deal breaker for me. I underestimated the amount of time that I would have to spend being concerned about water safety (i.e. when brushing my children’s teeth or giving them baths). It was really more difficult than I imagined with the water bottles. This is not ideal for young children.

  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank TravelMD301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 19 August 2018

Dear Guest,

First of all, I would like to thank you for the time you dedicated to share your comments and thoughts with the TripAdvisor community.

I deeply regret to know we were not able to fulfill all your expectations. Please, accept our sincere apologies for the different inconveniences you encountered in your room and with our restaurants reservation and staff.

I am truly sorry to hear of the difficulties you had while trying to resolve some issues in your room. Moreover, I apologize if our food quality and our restaurants reservation system were not up to the standards you expected. We strive to offer our guests a comfortable and relaxing vacation time and, in this sense, your remarks will be shared with the departments involved, in order to prevent similar situations in the future.

We are astonished to hear your comments regarding our employees as they are know for being always helpful and friendly. Nevertheless, your comments will be discussed with our whole team.

I am sorry for the seaweed on the beach. This is due to a natural phenomenon that is currently affecting the coasts of the Dominican Republic and other islands of the Caribbean. We really hope you change your mind and come visit us again so you can change your perception of our hotel and enjoy, once the seaweed diminishes, our crystal blue water.

Warm Regards,

Guest Experience Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2018 via mobile

Miguel Rodriguez is by the far the best employee/bartender at the resort. My wife and I would go out of our way to see Miguel for drinks and good conversation. Every day he would have a smile on his face and a new amazing drink for us to try. It was like he knew exactly what our taste buds wanted without us having to explain anything. He remembered us and greeted us by name. Our experience at the resort was truly one for the books and we would recommend it to anybody looking to have a fun and relaxing time. Out of all the employees Miguel stand out as one of the best and always wants to meet the highest standard of customer satisfaction! If you plan on going to Para Disus at Palma Real for a get away vacation make sure to see Miguel Rodriguez for a yummy drink and great conversation!

Stayed: August 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank daniel g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 15 August 2018

Dear Daniel,

What a wonderful review! We love your kind and enthusiastic words and we thank you for sharing them with the whole TripAdvisor community.

We are truly glad to hear of the great time you had a Paradisus Palma Real. Moreover, it is an honor to read your words of gratitude regarding the outstanding service provided by Miguel Rodriguez. You are completely right, he is a gem and, in this sense, we will gladly pass along all your beautiful words to him, who will be thrilled to hear from you.

It has been a pleasure to have you as our beloved guest. We look forward to welcome you back in the near future. Miguel and all our team will be awaiting your return.

Warm Regards,

Guest Experience Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2018

We loved the Reserve mostly for its beautiful grounds and very friendly and always smiling staff. Our concierge was Robeyda and she was delightful and very helpful. She was always available to answer our questions. We loved the walk from the Reserve to the beach (5-7 min walk through beautiful grounds). George, at the Reserve pool near the beach was excellent, checking on us multiple times to see if we need water or drinks. Food options at the Paradisus buffet were plenty. The buffet at the Reserve (Gabi Club) had less options but it is more upscale. We loved the food and the variety of fresh fruits and natural juices. Our favorite restaurants were Mizu, Aqua, Rare and Fuego. We would love to return to the Reserve.

Room Tip: We had Pradisus Suite and it was huge (bedroom, living room and dinning area), with a huge balcony.
  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Cristina T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 14 August 2018

Dear Cristina,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your awesome words and for the quality time you dedicated to share the details of your experience with the whole TripAdvisor community.

It is a pleasure to hear of the amazing time you had while staying with us and, in this sense, we thank you for your appreciation of our facilities, services, food and the professional and friendly attitude of the members of our team. We are very proud of our staff and, for that matter, we will gladly pass along your praises to all of them, but specially to Robeyda and George, who will be thrilled to know their efforts didn’t go unnoticed.

Thanks for choosing The Reserve Paradisus Palma Real as your vacation destination. We look forward to welcome you back in the near future. We will be awaiting your return.

Warm Regards,

Guest Experience Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2018

We went to this resort with a large group for 5 days. Food was better than I anticipated and the beach was excellent. The gym facilities were also very good. Watch the drinks, they are too good. Would definitely go back for a beach vacation.

Stayed: March 2018
Thank Cathy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 14 August 2018

Dear Cathy,

Thanks a lot for your wonderful and sincere comments. We are truly glad to hear how much you enjoyed your vacation time at The Reserve Paradisus Palma Real.

We appreciate your acknowledgement of our services, food, beach, gym and drinks. We feel honored!

It has been a pleasure to have you as our beloved guest. We look forward to welcome you back in the near future.

Warm Regards,

Guest Experience Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2018

We spent 4 nights at The Reserve At Paradisus Palma Real Resort and the overall experience was very good. Before getting to the details about the good and bad part of the trip, want to give a shout out to out concierge Gustavo Rivera. His excellent and consistent assistance made this trip worth it.....kudos to him. Since we were a large group of 25 people, he made reservations for dinner for each night; and for the last night he made a special dinner seating near the pool for just our group with a special menu and personalized service. That touched our hearts; thank you Gustavo.
Now for the rest; the first experience at the hotel started with a hiccup as the check in process is extremely slow and painstaking. The rooms were gorgeous but they showed signs of aging. One REALLY bad service was housekeeping. Out of the 4 nights we stayed, our towels were not replenished for a single day, had to request it and that too received one towel. A big resort like that really needs to focus on that. Also, the room service is extremely slow; one of out friends had to wait over 45 minutes for a blanket and pillow....need a lot of improvement there. The restaurants were good except for Fuego where the service was horrible. In spite of our reservations, we had to wait for 30 minutes. After being seated, no one came to take our order for about 10-15 minutes; that too took order for our food only. Had to call them back for our drinks. And to top it all, they turned off the fans while we were still finishing up our dinner. Really poor service and the food tasted horrible. Vento and Aqua grill was excellent, both food and service-wise. Also the drinks at the swim-up bar was watered down and the service was extremely slow. Management needs to invest in more people at the swim-up bars since that is a very popular site. The Gabi swim-up bar was good both service and drink-wise. The Spa experience was very good, specially the hydro-therapy sessions. The person in charge did an excellent job. Overall the experience was good. I would certainly recommend this resort for a fun vacation.

Room Tip: Paradisus Suites are good choice
  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ANANYA B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 14 August 2018

Dear Ananya,

I would like to thank you for dedicating some of your valuable time to share your experience with the whole TripAdvisor community.

It is an honor to hear of your appreciation of the courteous, friendly and professional attitude of Gustavo. He is truly a gem and we will gladly pass along your beautiful words to him. On his behalf...thanks!

We are sorry if you found our rooms outdated and, in this sense, I would like to assure you that your concerns will be shared with the departments involved in order to improve the care and maintenance of our accomodations.

Please, accept our apologies for the poor service you received from the housekeeping department. The situation you described is not acceptable and we will address this inmediately with the involved department.

Thanks for bringing to our attention your concerns regarding some of our services at the bars and Fuego restaurant. We take in great consideration your suggestions as they help us improve our services. Please, be certain your comments will be discussed with all our team, so we can prevent similar situations in the future.

Although we did not meet completely your expectations, I really hope you give us another opportunity to offer you an unforgettable experience.

Warm Regards,

Guest Experience Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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