Overall – loved it as much as we did the first time we were there. We really like being in the Punta Cana section in Bldg 2000, 3000, or 4000 since it is so close to the beach. Staff all over the property was so friendly and helpful. We stopped at the front desk every day to ask for extra water/beer and we got it every day with no problems at all. Anything we needed from the front desk, they were quick to try to respond to your request. The Guest Services guy that was in the Punta Cana section – Eugenio Medina – was so friendly and helpful, went out of his way to make sure you had what you needed. Cannot wait to go back for another visit in less than 2 years. My husband and I plan to make this our vacation spot every other year. Sister and her husband also plan on returning. If you ever want to see a more beautiful spot, I don’t know where you would go. This was the most relaxing, enjoyable vacation for all 4 of us. It truly was…paradise.
4125 and 4125
Arrival: We are 2 couples, all over 50. Our second time to Grand Palladium PC, and my sister/BIL’s first time. None of us speak Spanish, but found no language barrier at all for the most part. Stayed in Building 4000, 2nd floor. Will break the review into sections. Flights – we flew from MIA, sister from MKE. Both flights went great, both into PC slightly early. Easy lines, check-in did not take long at all. Airport is still as cute as ever and lots more improvements since we had been there 4 years ago. Note – we took school supplies with us and were met right at the Apple Counter by a guy from The Rotary Club. He gladly accepted the supplies for us so we did not have to worry about how to get them to a school. Apple Check-In – piece of cake. Rep called us by name when we walked up to the desk. Kept our luggage for us so we could go to the little café outside the airport to grab a drink while we waited for sis/bil to arrive. Once they got there, the 4 of us checked in very quickly and we were on our way. Ride to the resort was easy and it took about 25-30 minutes. Resort Check-In – Girls went to check in while the guys went for a drink. So easy, entire process took us no more than 15 minutes. Staff was extremely friendly. Once we got our information and wristbands, porter took our luggage and headed us up to our rooms. We were in our rooms by 3 pm.
Rooms: Rooms – very nice, we both had a least a partial ocean view from our balcony. Air worked fine, but b/c it was so humid, we found it was hard for the AC to totally pull the humidity out of the room. Safe worked fine. Room was clean, very well maintained. Beds/pillows were nice and comfortable. Our maid (Adalgisa Reyes) did a great job of cleaning our room, giving us extra towels, and making sure we had flower petals on the tub/vanity every day. There were IPOD stations, TV’s in both rooms. Nice ceiling fans helped keep it cooler at night. I will say this – last time we stayed in Bldg 2000 and our garden tub was in the bath and so was the vanity. This time we had the shower/toilet in the small room and the vanity/tub was in the main area. My personal preference is the tub/vanity in the bath. Two reasons – having the tub in the bath makes the shower area so much bigger for taking showers. Also-with the tub/vanity in the bath, there was a light switch in that room. I get up very early, so it was a little hard on my husband that I had to turn on the light by the vanity every morning in order to get dressed so I could take towels down to the beach and go for a walk. So I much prefer the tub/shower combo for these reasons.
Restaurants and Bars: Dining – We did not like Arrecife Restaurant (Buffet) at the beach in the Bavaro section. We thought the El Bohio Buffet in the Palace section was excellent. Staff was great there, and we thought the selection, especially for dinner, was much better there. We also ate at the buffet by the Punta Cana lobby, but only for breakfast a couple times, that was fine also. Dinner – we ate at the Steakhouse by the beach by the Punta Cana pool on Sat night. We had about an hour wait, no big deal. However, when we finally got seated, everything went downhill. Took forever to get waited on, husband never got his appetizers, and when we finally got our dinners about 2 hours later, everything was cold. So service/food in this restaurant was horrible. We also ate at El Quijote which is the Spanish fare – one word – FANTASTIC. I must add that this was the best Spanish food I have ever eaten. The food was spiced just right, not over spicy or under, but if you ever wanted really great food, you cannot go wrong with this place, even when the lights went out, it was still really good. Service and food were so good we ate there twice. Sports Bar – great selection of sandwiches, pizza, etc. I had a chicken panini there that was really good. There was also a BBQ on Friday night that we went to and that was a lot of fun. It was held by the Snack Bar on the beach in the Punta Cana section. We found we could wear short in the buffets at night with no issue at all. We even saw shorts in the Ala Carte restaurants, although we did not do that. Overall we thought the food was great with lots of variety.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: Beach/Grounds – gorgeous as ever. So beautifully maintained. Beach was raked every morning and it did not matter where on the beach you walked, it was clean. Water was so beautiful. Did not matter where you walked around the property, workers were out there keeping it clean and manicured. Last time we were there in April, so with it being June this time, we found it much less crowded.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Excursions – I highly recommend Pedro Milanes from Happy Boy parasailing. He is one of the vendors on the beach. Parasailing was only $60 for each couple, equipment was in great shape and we had a really good/fun ride. Not only that, he would stop on a daily basis and talk with us just to say hello. What a great person. Make sure you check him out, he is well worth the money. We also booked 2 excursions from Hotelextras inside the Punta Cana lobby. We were extremely disappointed in both excursions. Without going into major detail, we booked a “private” tour that was supposed to let us do what we wanted. The people who did this tour were so unorganized, they had absolutely no idea what was going on. We could have paid Pedro ½ what we paid for this tour and gotten the same thing. We also did a catamaran tour through Hotelextras. All I will say is this – if you are going to book ANY excursions with Hotelextras make sure you totally understand what you are getting before you pay for the excursions. We understood we were getting something totally different than what we actually got. Personally, I will never book an excursion with them again. For the most part, the staff that works for Hotelextras had very poor communication b/t themselves. The guy that was there most of the time (not the one we booked with) had no clue about what we booked. They work for the same outfit, they should know what each other is doing, however, he was clueless.
Other Comments: Entertainment – make sure you check the boards around the property – usually in the lobbies and the buffets – they give you the information about what shows or other entertainment is going on each night. That was how we found out about the beach BBQ and that you had to have reservations to attend. So it is very important that you check these boards every day. We thought the Entertainment was vastly improved from 4 years ago. First show was Cemeterio and was really cute – good dancing. Michael Jackson was way better this time around. Again, really good dancers. Last night they did a Dominican Dance/Singing show. Even though we did not understand the words, we thought this was the best show of all. Really good live singers, band and dancers. Lots of quick costume changes and very colorful. Really enjoyed it.