We had a wonderful vacation. We (me, spouse and 8 year old daughter) had everything we needed. The service in the Family Concierge room was great! Myra (our concierge) saw to it that we didn't have to worry about a thing! We already talk about going back and staying longer! Golf, spa, pools, beach, casino and the service is fantastic!! Do as much or as little as you and your family wish! Resort, rooms and the property are beautiful!
Even if I tried, I would not be able to say one negative thing about The Reserve. This was my first real vacation in eight years, I was traveling as a single mother with two children, ages 11 and nine and I was a nervous wreck. The moment I stepped out of the shuttle bus, and into The Reserve, every worry disappeared as my children and I were greeted with a frozen beverage and cool towels that my son described as smelling like "the happiest smell on earth." Before my trip I combed through the reviews on almost every resort in the Dominican Republic, reading tales of bad service, food poisoning, and even room theft! I finally settled on The Reserve because I was looking for an upscale, yet family friendly resort that was a short ride from the airport. I am a very nervous person and was worried about safety especially since I was traveling with my sons. The folks at Cheap Caribbean helped me enormously with any questions and it was a breeze to arrange this trip. The Reserve was gorgeous! The people who worked there were angels, especially Jesus Vega Fermin, Julian Cabrera and Carlos...the funniest man ever and greatest salsa dancer I have seen. The grounds, pools, bars, lounge areas, restaurants, and room were impeccable, stylish, and sheer bliss. Our room was restful, large and decorated in soft shades or cream and aqua, the beds were comfortable, the bathroom was huge and the outdoor tub on our balcony was amazing. We had a picture perfect view of the pool, a lovely kitchen, and a mini bar stocked with the best chocolate milk my sons ever had. The boys loved ordering room service at midnight, and I loved how sweet and hard working the staff were. Before going, I had heard stories of people at all inclusive resorts having trouble finding a spot by the pool. Not so at The Reserve. There were an enormous amount and variety of beds, huts, and artistically shaped lounge chairs available. The pools were large and pristine. The beach, which had the most powdery sand we ever felt was the same. Huge amounts of lounging options. Great concierge service as well. Both the buffet and restaurants were delicious. I recommend Hitzu where they cook the the food in front of you and Gabi Beach, which, directly on the beach was stunning. I was partial to the sweet and tasty variety of desserts at The Reserve. If you go, and I'm telling you GO, please go to the spa. It may be a little more pricey than a treatment you may get in the states, but it will be the best spa experience you ever have. Vitaly, the lady who gave me a deep tissue and scalp massage is gifted. The Romanesque bath ritual which is included after your treatment will leave you feeling like you never need to fill a Xanax prescription again! The Kids Zone is amazing as well, strewn with huge pillows, brightly decorated and filled with every imaginable activity. The Reserve is a resort experience worth every penny. Everything was perfection, even how the place smelled was wonderful. My older son says he will miss the virgin pina colodas! If you go I recommend trying the Blue Paradise drink, it was perfect with just the right amount of rum. Also bring dollar bills. These people work like dogs to make you happy, one lady was even very pregnant! They appreciate a small tip and they deserve it. Enjoy!
My wife and I went for a long weekend sans children. It was soooooo relaxing. The property was beautiful. Our room was top notch. The beach and pools and the lounging options at both was extensive and impressive. The range of dining options was impressive, though the quality of the food was a little all over the place from serviceable to excellent -- very good on the main. The biggest surprise bonus - room service was FREE. The biggest cons - the way tried to upsell us into paying more for a better room and join the Club Melia.
The reserve is beautiful and the area-if you stay on location-is Paradise. We had to give a "gift-a bride" to even get to our room. The service people were awesome. Every time we tried to book a restaurant we were told no openings-all inclusive my foot!! The water w as great and beaches pristine. We bought a video of us scuba diving for $65.00 to find out when we got home -there was nothing on the DVD. In all if you just want a nice and beautiful place to go-it is lovely. We just continued to have no luck with excursions and food!
The Palma Real is an amazingly beautiful resort with lots of options to have fun, relax, and dine. I went down with my wife and two children who had just graduated from college. What impressed us immediately was how quiet and secluded the Reserve section of the resort was. We stayed 7 days during late April, early May. We were always able to find a place poolside where nobody else was around. It is a very kid-friendly resort, but most of the families with small children were in the main pool and kid's fun zone. The areas slightly further away were peaceful. The food was very good. We at at the Gabi buffet for breakfast and lunch, sometimes getting snacks at the Hydro Grill. There was plenty of variety, and I thought the quality of food was excellent. For dinner, we had reservations every night, which I booked before we flew. They only take reservations one week in advance. They're really good about accommodating their guests, but I highly recommend making reservations. Being at the Reserve, we were able to book pretty much any restaurant on the resort without additional cost, except for Passion. We at at Olio, Fuego, Rare and Bana at the main resort which were all excellent. Mizu and Aqua at the reserve were good, smaller and more private, but I actually preferred the restaurants at the main resort. The service was amazing! Everyone on the resort was incredibly friendly. Everyone spoke English and humored our attempts at Spanish. My son made a great effort to improve his Spanish which was always a nice conversation starter. He was convinced that you get a stronger drink if you order in Spanish :-). Evenings at the Gabi were lots of fun. The bartenders were great and were often dancing to the live music and joking around while pouring drinks. They had different live music every evening, and some guest performers from the shows playing at the main resort. There is a calendar of events that they publish daily from cocktail making "workshops" to water aerobics and stretching. They also promote activities at the resort like the casino and Yhi Spa by providing demonstrations like a poolside blackjack table and free massage. Carlos Pena is a find young man who promotes these activities during the day...acting as kind of a cruise director. He taught my daughter to Salsa one night at the Gabi, This is the first time we've done an all inclusive like this, although we have been to Disney and the Disney Cruise when the children were much younger. Although I don't have much to compare the Palma Real to from that perspective, our whole family had a great time and plan on going back next year. Thanks to everyone a the Palma Real Reserve for a great vacation!
This review is strictly for my 1 week stay at the Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real and not the main Paradisus Palma Real resort by the ocean. For those who don’t know, the Reserve is on the same huge property as the main resort but is located about half a mile away. It is an easy walk or golf cart ride back and forth but they both take some time. The suite I was in was fantastic and the grounds and the pool were wonderful. However, the following is why I am only giving it 3 stars. First like I just said, it is half a mile from the beach vs being right on it. Second, it only has two dinner restaurants and a buffet. Therefore we ended up eating most of our lunch and dinner meals down at the main resort. Additionally, the pool-side snack grill was closed the entire time we were there so nothing to eat or snack on in the late afternoon. Third, the only evening entertainment is the occasional “lounge singer” (my term) who most of the time seemed to be singing to no one. Once again we had to go down to the main resort for the real evening entertainment and show. Finally, the place is simply not fun (in my opinion). They play new age relaxation/meditation music during the days and have no real fun activities for adults other than perhaps a few yoga events. Why not play some upbeat music by the pool during the day and maybe put a ping pong table (or two), or basketball shoot, or shuffleboard, or have some fun adult games/activities so there is more to do during the days than just sit at the pool? A tropical colorful drink-of-the-day might also add some fun. Bottom line, why pay more to be at the Reserve and just sit at a pool when it doesn’t have the beach, fun atmosphere, restaurants, or entertainment that you get at the main resort by the ocean. Had I been rating the Paradisus Palma Real and not the Reserve, I probably would have given it at least 4.5 stars. Of note, the food at both resorts was great and the best I have had at an all-inclusive resort. Additionally, DO NOT take the excursion to Santo Domingo. Despite being told it takes about 2 hours to get there, it actually took over 3 hours and involved 3 different busses. Once there it was fine but then took another 2.5 hours to get back. Don’t waste your precious time with over 6 hours of bus riding just to see a few sites.
Excellent stay! Enjoyed every minute of it. Gustavo (the concierge assigned to us) was so attentive to all of our requests and really made our experience special. Ate at Mizu, Passion and Rare. Passion is a must, well worth the extra price. Rare was also fantastic. Mizu was a typical hibachi place. Food was good, not great. Service at all restaurants was fantastic. The Reserve buffet was small so we went to the main resort's buffet on the last day only to realize it was much bigger and had much more options.
We read all of the reviews on every website and we were nervous about going because some of the reviews were less than kind. Here is my general advice: you get what you give. If you go to ANY place expecting to be waited on, hand-and-foot, expecting to be treated like royalty, that place will probably not live up to expectations. At Paradisus, just like anywhere else in the world, if you are kind, you will be met with kindness and generosity. That said, here was our experience... We spent four nights at the Reserve. During our days, we spent about half the day at the beach and half the day at the Reserve. There is a shuttle service that goes between the beach and the Reserve, and it was 95% super available. The other 5% slower service time was due to it being peak shuttle hours. Also, it is only about a quarter of a mile from the beach to the Reserve, so it is a nice little walk. If you are a late sleeper, have the concierge try to reserve you a cabana on the beach. For a GUARANTEED cabana, get out there early, set out some towels, and then go have breakfast. Some people set out their towels as early as 7:00, then went back to their room to sleep. SERIOUS BEACH FANS! If you want drinks served to you on the beach, let someone know. Otherwise, the bar is about two steps away and you can get drinks yourself. The breakfast food was plentiful with a great variety, and lunch wasn't so bad either. Our favorite dinners were at Vento (Italianish) and Bana (Asianish). Gabi Beach was FANCY; the food was alright and the service AMAZING, but I think if we went again, we would choose a different dining experience. The room at the Reserve was beautiful. We had a swim-up suite and it was private, quiet, and a nice escape when the main resort got a little noisy and crowded. For a few days, there was a power outage, but the infrastructure was such that we hardly noticed the outage (WHAT?? No BLENDED DRINKS??) :) This place is amazing and we are going back with our kids. Remember--be nice to everyone and keep those expectations in check and you won't be disappointed.
We just returned from a five night stay at The Reserve, so I'll try to share as much as I remember about the experience. Your stay may be better or worse, who knows, but here's how our time went... We arrived and were given a ticket for our bags and were told they'd be brought up to our room after we checked in which we later found out was a good thing as we never saw an elevator the whole time there. This was also made apparent by the collection of strollers at the main level of the stairwell. We sat at reception and were welcomed with a hand towel and frozen (non-alcoholic I believe) beverage, which was a nice touch. We were given colored bracelets with a wooden/plastic design on them. These are used for the workers at the hotels to tell you apart from other travelers. Ours were purple. We saw at least five other color/design variations during our trip and couldn't make any rhyme or reason of the planning behind them. After the bracelets we were told we could go to the main Paradisus resort the following day and receive our vouchers for staying longer than four nights. We also inquired about room upgrades and were told one of the vouchers could be used toward that, but after finding out the amount to upgrade, even with the voucher, would be around and additional $600, we figured nah, we were good. Our room was the basic "Paradisus Suite". It had a long kitchen counter, a sink, dining table, and mini fridge in what you could consider a kitchenette type of thing. The mini fridge/bar was restocked every day if anything was taken from it and all items were included in the package. The limited offerings included: Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, water, orange juice drink, pear juice drink, mini cans of Coors Light, and a chocolate milk juice box. If you're expecting a mini bar with little bottles of alcohol, it ain't happening. The sofa could've been more comfortable but we didn't use it at all so no worries there. TV's had blurry picture and a lot of channels. Most were in Spanish, but there were some good ones in English if that's what you're looking for while falling asleep at night or to keep the kids busy for a minute. The bed was one of the downsides to the room. I believe I overheard another patron there say that you had to specify if you wanted a normal king bed or a bed consisting of two beds pushed together. We had the latter and wished for the former. I believe it was two full size beds pushed together making it a bit tight to sleep all night with your partner as they were a bit divot-ed and sleeping on the crease of the two was like sleeping on the top of a fence...just never knowing what side you'd fall to. If possible, pick the single king bed. The bathrooms were fine. Nothing of serious note here. Stone and marble, double sink, stand-up shower and toilet in its own enclosure. We were told not only to not drink the water from the sink, but not even to wash our toothbrushes off with the water. Instead, we were instructed to use the bottled water in the room to do so. We obliged as obtaining stomach worms wasn't on our Tropical To-Do list. The closet had a safe, slippers, and robes for our use. We used the safe but the slippers were a bit small on my feet and the robes were a bit rough. Lots of storage in the closets also. The pools were always clean and clear. The breakfast/dinner buffet at the Gabi Club was so-so. The most I can say was it was buffet food but with different options than you would see at a home buffet I'm guessing. The Hydro Grill was pretty good for a lunch time bite. Good selection there too. The only other place we ate at in The Reserve was Aqua and while the food was pretty good ( I had the turbot which was good, she had the ravioli that had no filling) the portions were small, so if you plan on eating there, maybe order a few things. The ravioli had three pieces and my fish was a small guy. The buffet at the main Paradisus, Naos, was about the same as the Gabi Club but was about twice the size. If you're doing a buffet for a meal, I'd go with Naos over Gabi. We ate at the sushi side of Bana one night which was OK. The sushi was the best I've had but was a bit better than you'd find in a grocery store. Another night we ate at the steakhouse Rare which was a bit of a let down also. The options your given as part of the all-inclusive aren't the best cuts (skirt, flank, rib-eye), but the taste was pretty good. The shining star of the food offerings (sadly not included in the all-inclusive) was Passion. Holy cow was that stuff delicious. I reviewed that place separately, but like I say there too, it's definitely worth the extra money. Do the tasting menu! Seven courses, or more, or deliciousness! I say "or more" as there were two "chefs complements" dishes that change nightly included. Seriously some of the best food I've ever had and no wonder he's earned seven Michelin Stars. The beaches and pools at the Paradisus were nice and clean. Finding a spot to sit wasn't hard on any of the days or times we went. If you're in The Reserve, you get your own beach area with attendants that will bring drinks. One of the main highlights was how friendly everyone was and they were always willing to help. Amazing group of people! I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of stuff but feel free to message me with questions. All in all, we had a great time here and would definitely go back!
The rooms at The Reserve Paradisus Palma Real smell like mold or mildew.. The hotel has a major humidity problem. I was ill by my last night (6 nights). The hotel has been covering this up by turning the AC down to low 60's so visitors don't notice the smell. As a result, the beds are moist and sheets become moist. You will either be A. Sleeping in sub 60 degree temperatures or B. sleeping in a wet bed smelling mold or mildew. Buffets are dirty but is edible. Dinner opinions are 50/50 but some of the restaurants were good. Pools and beach are fine. Staff is okay. I wouldn't go back if you paid me.