February 1, 2017 at 8:52 am #9007
My husband and I and another couple just returned from a week’s stay at The Grand Palladium Punta Cana.
This resort is advertised as a 4-1/2 star resort, but I would give it 3 stars. I paid 3 star prices so I was happy with what we experienced.
We had booked Jr. Suite’s and were placed in building 3000, quiet location close to beach and pool.
Rooms 3032 and 3132. Rooms were clean and nicely appointed with a king bed, small sofa which is also a trundle bed, coffee table, TV stand, small table with two chairs, small desk, large closet with safe, Jacuzzi tub, open concept sink, toilet and shower in a separate room with sliding door.
Small desk had 3 drawers which I used as a dresser, closet had 20 hangers and some shelving for extra storage.
Coffee maker, small frig stocked with sodas, beer and water and the bathroom was stocked with shampoo, cream rinse, lotion and bubble bath and of course a shower cap! A hand written note for more water and beer with a $3 tip and we never ran out!
Our patio had a lovely view of the wedding gazebo, the beach and the ocean. Our room also had two large windows with views of the beach and ocean, these windows opened but did not have screens on them.
Everything in our room worked just fine, no problems with anything. Several power outlets but only two prong plugs, which are recessed (which made it impossible for some things to plug in. Bring a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter. Yes a little worn but it was clean and comfortable.
Check in; quick and efficient, Pedro and Samuel were friendly and happy to help us. When we came to meet the other couple a few hours later two buses of people had arrived at the same time as they did and the front desk wiped right thru this group and had them all checked in and on their way in less than 1/2 and hour, pretty impressive I must say!
Resort: Very large with lots of walking paths, roads and trolley’s. Lovely well maintained landscaping. Each resort had its own open air lobby, open air lobby bar and enclosed buffet. Each resort also had their own pool. Large sports area with ping pong, tennis, basketball and several other activities. Shopping mall in the Punta Cana section and the Bavaro section.
Pools: All pools had a pool bar, lots of loungers, lots of Palapa’s with plenty of shade. We had very poor service at all pool bars, inattentive and uninterested in helping you but once we tipped then they paid some attention to us but not much.
Punta Cana pool; one next to building 3000 had no walk in or steps, only way into the pool was metal stairs, small pool bar and not too deep but the day after the foam party they drained about 2 feet of water out of the pool and it stayed this empty for the next two days making it hard to get in and out of
Punta Cana pool by the buffet, nice slopping walk in, cement loungers in the shallow section
Bavaro pool; nice steps into the pool, very deep in some areas, huge pool bar but mostly in the shade all day
Palace pool, nice steps into the pool
Secret Adults only , very nice and quiet, easy walk in, ledge to put your lounger on and cement loungers in the water
Beach: Beautiful! Lots of natural plants and tons of palm trees, easy walking sand and tons of lounge chairs. No beach service but a beach bar is available for you to get your own drinks.
Food: buffet’s every morning were the same thing, nothing changed from buffet to buffet or day to day but there was an omelets chef, a waffle chef and lots of options. Food was hot and fresh.
Ala Carte’s; We tried them all but the Spanish, the Italian was our least favorite and the Steak house was our best experience with great food, service and atmosphere. The Japanese was a close second place.
Reservation system; Poor explanation, everyone gave you different answers but this is what we figured out. Members and Presidential guests were able to make reservations, everyone else had to line up at 5:30 pm for first seating’s and if you didn’t make the cut you had an 1 1/2 wait for the second seating. Only place we could make reservations for was the Japanese, line up at 5 pm to make your reservation. But I will mention that the Chinese, Spanish and Mexican at the Bavaro side never had a line nor a wait, was able to walk right in.
Service; We found that most service was basically forced and unhappy but we like to talk to the employees and my husband speaks some Spanish so we always asked their name and spent a few minutes talking with them and then they seemed to enjoy this and would come check on us more often. We always tip, not just leaving it on the table but shaking their hands and thanking them and then giving them their tip and we seemed to be remembered by many. Darlin, Lordes, Heather are a few names we remembered.
Our first morning breakfast at the Punta Cana buffet we met Franklin who was friendly and attentive and we tipped him nicely so the next two morning as soon as he saw us come in he grabbed us and seated us in his section and remembered our names. He even said goodbye to us on the third day as he was going to be off for the next few days.
Venders and Hotel sales people; not as annoying as some reviews I read but we did learning quickly where they were and avoided them. The Travel Club people were the worst ones.
Room service; did not try it but only available 11 am till 11 pm, we are used to having coffee and fruit delivered in the am so we can enjoy coffee on our patio but this was not an option here.
Sports Bar; 24 hour food here, mostly bar food but still an option. We were at the resort for the playoff game and the boys hung out here to watch Green Bay get slaughtered, the resort and bar did a nice job hosting this game with plenty of wait staff and food available. The place was packed!
Lunch; snack bar by the Punta Cana section pool was ok, tried a few buffets for lunch which were just ok and the service was poor, but all pools had a hot dog cart, which opened at 11:30 am
Hemingway’s; Top shelf liquor here, nice game tables for cards or dice and a lovely piano player. We came here each night after dinner for drinks and to play games which we brought with us, not sure if they had games available or not.
Activities; not really posted nor communicated anywhere, we came across a big board but not much on it other than the nightly shows. Nothing in the rooms or on the TV about which pool and what times, after the fact we learned about the foam party and the lobster buffet.
Phone app; basically useless for us, wifi not great anywhere but your room or lobby so when at the pool trying to figure out events or to “chat” with host to find out about reservations you would lose your connection. So we gave up on it.
All in all it was a good trip, we did not starve but did get bored of the food. Have I stayed at better resorts yes but I also paid a lot more for those resorts.
If you are high maintenance and expecting 5 stars you will be disappointed by this resort, if you know how to relax and enjoy yourself then you will have a good time!
Room Tip: 3132 was quiet and nice views
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