Moon Palace Casino, Golf & SPA Resort Reviews – Dominican Republic Hotels – Debbie's Caribbean Travel Resort Reviews – Moon Palace Casino, Golf & SPA Resort

  Moon Palace Casino Golf & Spa Resort   Silvia ~ Gatineau, Quebec

December 2 2009

Arrival: nov 18 to 25, 2009
Gorgeous resort.

wonderful, big double shower, most comfortable king size bed in D.R. double whirpool in front of patio doors, frige, rhum, vodka included.  big balcony

Restaurants and Bars:
all very good, enjoyed food at Japanese, simple but good.  Nice set up for cafes, good ice cream bar. 

pools , pools and more pools, chairs in the pool….very nice, close to beach and /or more quiet ones throughout the site

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
golf at the Punta Blanca golf course, very nice, just 10 minutes away.  Also played at the Rocco Ki, not worth it yet too expensive

Other Comments:
staff make extra effort to speak english…even if you speak spanish, they want to answer in english or french.  Very very helpful staff thoughout.

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  Moon Palace Casino Golf & Spa Resort   Alec ~ Washington DC

July 2009

We stayed 6/23-7/3 Carribbean Suite. We came from the Washington DC area with 2 pre-teen children. We had perhaps the best vacation ever here – the people, food, room, location, activities, pools, beach, and bars were all most excellent. We had an outstanding time at the Moon Palace Punta Cana. They are really going all out to make your vacation as enjoyable as possible. The purchase process was very straightforward at the Palace website. I was given all the information I needed to be certain I was going to receive what I wanted/purchased. I saved a little on airfare when I booked with them, and the inclusion of the transfers was a plus. I was very pleased with the receipts and transfer tickets sent quickly after we booked. She answered all my pre-trip questions.

The booth/taxi arrangements upon arrival were smooth. If using a transfer, right when you leave customs look straight across the kiosks at the right and you will see ‘Palace Transfer’.

The check in process was very smooth. The person was very efficient and the process was quick. Giving my family a drink and flower was very nice.

The orientation was ok. The map we received was of fairly poor quality and by the time she circled and wrote all over it it was not too too good to use. The info sheet we were given listed the snorkeling tours Tuesday and Friday – it is Monday and Friday. We waited too long to book and it was full for the Monday – book the snorkeling tour as soon as you can. She did a pretty good job of explaining the basics of where things are, times, etc. She was very nice.

The transfer to our room was very smooth and the bellboy was very nice.

The room was excellent. We were so happy with the location. The top floor of building (3), close to the pools/beach, and in a the central location. The bed was very soft, the pillows big, the jacuzi was awesome, the elevated nature of the beds/tub was neat, the TV was excellent quality. The bathroom was very spacious, and the shower area huge! The toilet room was very small and needed ventilation. The lighting system was most excellent. The stocked bar was fabulous and the fridge was just large enough and always had enough material. Orientation of the balcony was great. Closet space/shelves/hangers were more than sufficient. Including the safe use is excellent. Plenty of towels that was great. The beds were a bit narrow for two adults.

Housekeeping – overall this was excellent. The room was sufficiently clean upon arrival. Our schedule was very routine (everyday we would leave the room between 830 and 930 and press the green button) and she seemed to come anywhere between 9 and 3. She did a great job of keeping fridge and water stocked. We would leave requests for small items (conditioner, creamer for coffee) and $2 and she would leave them no problem (we left requests in Spanish). Turning down the room at night was great, occassionally there would be chocolates.

Grounds – we understand they are still completing the resort so nothing bothered us about any unfinished items – only the far east section is really still under construction. The casino was not yet completed but this was perfect in our book. Overall the resort was gorgeous. Where we stayed and walked was excellent. It will be great when the map and info stands around the resort are completed. They were very clean. The landscaping is outstanding. The lighting so beautiful at night. It is such a gorgeous resort.

Staff – overall everyone was so friendly! No matter what their role/job was everyone we passed and met was very nice. The service at all of the dining areas was essentially perfect. It was very nice that most everyone spoke enough English to make us comfortable. We tried to speak as much basic Spanish as possible. The way you are training your staff to treat your guests could not be better it is the most successful! 5-star service. I could say that at every meal, every person who served us was so friendly and nice. We were really impressed by how well the staff spoke English, how much they cared and how professional they were.

Other Guests – unlike some other Bavaro beach resorts, this place really caters well to North Americans. I would say 80-85% of the people were such. The rest from Central or South America (lots of Colombians!). Not once in 11 days did I see anyone get beligerant, overtly drunk, etc. People were very friendly and we met some great people from all over the Western Hemishpere. The atmosphere there sort of breeds that happiness too. We did not see any topless sun bathers. Lots of honeymoon couples. We did not see any groups of ‘spring breakers’ (You know what I mean). It was essentially all families and couples. Again, the staff spoke English really well. I suspect in July and August the European guest population might go up quite a bit. Our girls met lots of friends and were never bored or without other kids to splash around with.

Beach – The resort was not crowded (friends and family who saw our pictures commented we had the resort to ourselves) and there were plenty of palapas and longers but I suspect that when they really start to pack the resort in they will need more at the beach (was incredibly clean and beautiful). Having the lifeguard towers was awesome – not all resorts have them and this was great. The net is great, and the beach activities were sufficient. Gorgeous beach.

Pools – Outstanding! We loved the way each pool had a different shape, amount of shade, different loungers, yes/no swim-up bar at different pools, jets, etc. The pools at the very center of the resort seemed quite vacant. We would move between the 3 pools between Marina Grill and building 4. The pool in front of building 4 seemed the most popular since it had the swim up bar, jets, and live music. We enjoyed most the pool next to it, next to the wedding gazeebo in front of the made to order grill. It was perfect. Really liked the shelf around the inside of the pools where we could put our loungers. Having small short tables spaced amongst the loungers would be so excellent – we had no-where to put our drinks or food when not holding them. The pools and the beach all had service. Unlike other resorts we’ve stayed at such as Bahia, you DO NOT need to play the save-lounger game here. Always plenty of loungers free all day and in prime spots too.

Food – Outstanding! We enjoyed breakfast the most at Marina Grill close to the beach – it was nice and open. The food always was fresh and sufficiently varied. We ate at the Marina Grill for Breakfast and Lunch several times, but not dinner (when it is the seafood restaurant) so I cannot comment on that. We did not go to the Steakhouse. Spaggo (Italian) was outstanding. Besides Tao (Tepenyaki) it was our favorite dining experience. Everyone was so nice and served us so well and so elegantly. We went twice. We went to Gallos (Spanish) once – it was excellent. The guacamole was so fresh and the girls had all kinds of appetizers to munch on. The kabobs were so good. We went to Tao twice – it was also outstanding. Once we had a to wait a bit at the bar which was perfectly fine, the bartender was very nice and made great drinks. He even taught us a little Spanish. Pizzetta (sp?) was fine. It is so open that we noticed it was not very occupied most of the time. We tried it to see anyways. The food was good. I think we were encouraged to order too much food! We only ate about half of what was suggested. Cafettos was great. One does not appreciate all it has to offer until you see the menu or sit down. For a few days we thought it was a bar and coffee lounge. The breakfast is so excellent, we ate there 3 times. It was like a hidden gem. Nice to be served at breakfast sometimes. We went for dessert once. Lucca’s (main international buffet) was perfectly fine for breakfast and we enjoyed the Asian, Spanish, and Dominican nights. The Spanish night was our favorite, it was perfect. Overall we thought the food quality and variety was excellent everywhere we went. I like the way the buffet items are replentished even when the older pan is half full yet. The banana bread is perhaps the best I have ever had. Ice cream shop – a great idea! It’s texture and flavor was different than what we are used to in the States, but it was good. My daughters loved the donut and cake shop – every night we stopped for goodies for the morning. The cookies in the other bakery across from the ice cream were a bit stale when we got them twice, but it was late in the day so maybe that was why. We saw someone order a sandwich and then she made it fresh at the donut/deli shop in the lobby. We did not order room service. It was very good to know it was there, essential for the high class status, but it is not a novelty for us and we only use it when we are simply unable to go out and dine (which was never the case). We saw a lot of people had as we walked the hall. I just cannot comment as we did not use it. The made to order grill next to building 4 was a God-send on many an afternoon. Those folks work so hard all day in all that heat. The food was always fresh and hot. The burgers are oustanding, especially the BBQ and French Onion ones. I believe the only restaurant not yet open was ‘Samba’.

Bars – Outstanding!!! Top shelf liquors all the way. You see it, you call it, they make it. Plenty of bars all around the lobby and pools. Really liked the drink of the day thing and glad they opened not too early (we were ready by 10am for a ‘refreshment’). I cannot stress enough how impressed I was with the quality of the spirits and beer. The quality of the drinks was excellent, never weak at all and always tasty. We did not use the 2 large bars at the lobby. Having the self serve soda/ice station was really nice. And the never ending supply of Dasani bottled water was top-class. For a barfly like me, I was totally impressed and delighted with the bars, service and drinks.

Safety – we always felt very safe and secure in the hotel. We did not worry a bit about anything being stolen from the room. The security guards around the resort and beach are a nice feature.

Tours – it is quite a plus that they offer some complimentary spaces on those 3 tours (safari, snorkeling, animal park). We did discuss the safari tour with an agent there, only the zipline and ATV were extra (which was ok, understandable). We booked a full day safari trip from a fellow on the beach, that was similar to what they offered (school, typical house, typical town, plantation, cigar, gift shop, lunch, beach and pool) only it included horseback riding and ATV as well. We paid $75 pp. I think if I added zipline and ATV to their it would have been about that pp, but the girls wanted horseback riding instead so we chose the other. Hindsight is 20/20 and I would have gone with their tour! We were not satisfied/pleased with the quality of that tour other (Rancho Mar Taina). The ‘truck’ was quite shoddy (we had to stop at a garage on the way home), the horseback rides and ATV excursion were too short, and the gift shop they took us to was occupied by a very ill-mannered seller. The ranch and beach was outstanding though. We make the most of everything and had a great time, but I would stick to the resort-approved tours.

Gym – Outstanding! We could not believe how nice and complete the gym is. People will universally be really impressed. The guys there (we were always there 7-8AM) were very nice and took care of us. The equipment is outstanding. The bathrooms adjacent to the gym were not complete though which was less than ideal.

Gift Shop – Outstanding! Great selection, very nice and open, very nice staff, and surprisingly good prices. We were perfectly pleased with what we bought and how much we paid. A lot of items were cheaper than the village/town shop. And everything goes on the card on deposit for your room – you need no cash handy.

We did not use the beauty salon, spa, or the two lotion/bathing suit shops. If you did the sales presentation (we already own vacation packages) I think you got $400 in vouchers for the spa.

The ATM worked very well and it was simple to use. I needed cash only for the extra tour we booked on the beach. It dispenses $DR in 500s. $5 ATM fee.

Operator – always courteous and spoke excellent English. She even called back to make sure our bathroom got unlocked (kids). It was excellent service.

Activities – The painting on the beach was so cool, the kids loved it. They liked the sand castles and water volleyball. My wife liked the beach volleyball and painting. The activities staff were very friendly. The band that would come and play in the afternoon was great and we really enjoyed listening to them. My girls (10 and 12) only visited the Space Kids once to see a friend in it. Space Kids is a place where you can bring your children from morning to night (it seemed) for structured and supervised activities. They put on a talent show that was awesome!

Shows – For the most part outstanding. The talent show was great! We enjoyed the Michael Jackson show although the circumstances were somber (we saw it June 25th), the MC handled it respectfully and very well. We really enjoyed the magic and circus shows – they were so excellent! The Starz show left a bit to be desired. There should be something somewhere suggesting that that show may not be appropriate for children. At one point a rap ‘star’ hops on stage and briefly mimics sex with a bent-over scantily clad dancer. That’s when we got up and left along with several other parents with younger children. Maybe there was some indication that it was meant for adult audiences and we missed it. Aside from that, the other shows were awesome and we enjoyed them.

Checkout – very smooth. The bellboy was there immediately and had our bags waiting when we arrived to meet the bus. I errored in that I waited until the last night to change my transfer back the next morning. You should confirm your return transfer soon after arriving. The room charges were clearly shown. The process was fairly quick and pleasant.

Satisfaction – We had not stayed at a Palace Resort but always wanted to. We chose them because all the other Palace resorts get such good ratings. While we enjoyed Iberostar and Bahia Principe before, we wanted to experience something more. We looked at almost every resort in Bavaro and decided to trust the Palace reputation more and commit to a resort that was opening the day we booked Jan 10th (not like us at all!) I was never worried for a moment that by June they would have it all great and I trusted we would have a great time. We had the time of our lives. If we come back to the DR we will surely stay there again.

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  Moon Palace Casino Golf & Spa Resort   Svetlana ~ Philadelphia

June 2009

Arrival: May 29th Resort is huge, the property is very large although still in the works but absolutely beautiful.We were greated with a cold glass of champagne(very nice) and a flower for the ladies.

All the rooms are brand new and gorgeous. The beds are extremely comfy! The shower is fantastic, huge 2 person/2 shower heads(excellent)Jacuzzi tub in ground in the room. Flat screen tv, the room was very clean and cozy!

Restaurants and Bars:
The restaurants and bars are good, some better than others,but over all very good. Asian restaurant is delicious!

So many pools and all are very nice. The beach is beautiful(water is a little rough but still fun) and the waiters keep coming around with drinks made to your order. The grounds are extravagant although it’s very easy to get lost on your first day, buildings all look alike, and there are so many of them(should have building numbers posted on them).

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Zip line is awesome, horse back riding not bad(but the horses seem very thin).

Other Comments:
Over all a very nice resort, still needs at least a year until completely finished. Once it’s done will be one of the best in Punta Cana!

The best part was our Wedding Day-May 30th, 2009!!!
We had a beach ceremony which was gorgeous! Our photographer Arnaud did an amazing job!!! The pictures were breathtaking.To those who are getting married in Punta Cana I definitely recommend "Huellas del Caribe" photography service was outstanding! Arnaud was so easy to work with( very charming and funny)! Our wedding was Saturday, he met with us Monday to show our pictures and select the ones we want and had our photo album shipped to us in two weeks! Our video was also ready by Monday(video was beautiful).Thanks again Arnaud! You’ve captured our wedding day in breath taking photos that will last a life time!!! Amazing job. Our wedding planner Nancy and her assistant Maria were the BEST!!! They went above and beyond.We had a two hour private reception by a secluded gorgeous pool with it’s own open bar/delicious buffet and gorgeous palm trees all around with a cute lounge with sand under your feet and hammocks all around.The staff was so great and accomodating, they saw how much fun we were having, they even extended our reception to 4.5 hours free of charge! After we took the party to the lobby bar! The bartenders were great, the drinks were coming non stop for all! Had so much fun on our wedding day!

Thanks again to Nancy, Maria,Arnaud and his video partner!!!
Best wedding ever!

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  Moon Palace Casino Golf & Spa Resort   Len ~ Reading, Pennsylvania

May 2009

Arrival: April 25 – May 2 As soon as we got our bags, we went to the taxi area of the airport. We arrived at the Moon Palace guest desk and within 5 minutes we were on our way to our room. The taxi ride took about 30 minutes from the airport to Moon Palace.

Rooms are huge and very clean.

Restaurants and Bars:
The steak restaurant was our favorite. The food was good and the service was excellence.

The pools and very clean and we were lucky that there weren’t very many people at the pool we selected, it was like we had out very own 70 x 140′ pool.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We didn’t take any tours althought they were included in our package.

Other Comments:
I would recommend this Moon Palace to anyone who likes a 5 star hotel with very helpful, polite and pleasant employees.

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  Moon Palace Casino Golf & Spa Resort   Dave T

April 2009

We made reservations before learning about "soft opening." Had we known we would have delayed at least until 2010. That said we went with positive attitude and enjoyed our stay. But, we probably won’t go back because it takes 15 hours (in air plus airport waiting) to get there. ( SAN to PUJ)

Arrival visa costs $10; also filled out Customs declaration that no one collected. We were so intent on avoiding folks wanting to help with our luggage that we walked by the Moon Palace booth. Some guy outside pointed us back to booth. We shared van with another couple and left after only 15 minute wait. Be prepared for an exciting ride: pot holes, narrow roads, numerous mopeds. Arrival. Bellhops appeared a bit disorganized…but no problems. Front desk gave us wrong wrist bracelets, which we corrected later. Room: beds were very comfortable. No Palace slippers in room and safe didn’t work. TV is not easily viewable from beds. (We watched very little TV) Wireless internet worked well. Bldg. halls and stairwells needed better cleaning. Oh, coffee was excellent, but nothing to stir with.

Grounds: there are places for bldg. signs/directions…but no info yet. We figured out lay of the land after first day. One restaurant down by beach–Marina Grill–where we ate buffet breakfast and lunch plus it has order from menu at dinner. I rate Marina Grill as very good…but wine as poor. There is also a sandwich place down there and frequently a lunch BBQ was set up.

Other restaurants are in main bldg. with lobby. Tao (Oriental) was good; you have to reserve your table with morning breakfast greeter. Spaggo (Italian) was very good…went for dinner 3 times. Must Sweet Coffee–my wife enjoyed their deserts and special coffees. Pizzetto was very good; beer and pizza always delicious. Cafetto. Service problems when we were there. Lucca (International) Good. We only went once…for breakfast buffet. Several pools with some away from the beach and more are being made ready.

Most of the construction was at the southern end…did not bother us.

Entertainment doesn’t start until 9:45, which is past our bedtime. However, we were up late first night and went to "Stars Show." It began 20 minutes late…and there were technical problems; we left. Can’t comment about other shows. Like the resort…a work in progress.

Checkout went smoothly. Airport departure was mostly seamless, however, after getting boarding passes, etc. we needed to fill out disembarkation form that was in a pad on table near final check point. Other folks may have gotten forms from their airlines, but not Delta.

If one has reservations, don’t cancel, you’ll have good time. If one is thinking about going, wait a year.

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  Moon Palace Casino Golf & Spa Resort   Nichol ~ Atlanta, GA

April 2009

The lobby is huge but the walls of the lobby are only primed – no paint – there are no plants at all and lots of construction/drywall dust. It took over 60 minutes to check in when we were second or third in line. They did bring frozen non-alcholic drinks on a tray.

Room would be beautiful if cleaned correctly – it smelled like either drywall dust or wet paint or both. The furniture is quality and mattress comfy. Glass tops were missing from the table on the balcony.

Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants were good but not gourmet. Only six open including a deli and an ice cream shop. Everything was a little bland and lots of diguised sameness in the menus. Service was good but inexperience showed. Wine menu not available in some restaurants. When it was available they didn’t have many of the wines listed.

The beach is fabulous – wonderful sand. Pools nice (only three open) but the showers from the beach to the pools are not working and cheap chairs/inadequate amount at two of the pools. The grounds look best at night. We were told to walk only one way on the beach to stay out of danger. Security guards patrolling.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
A couple we traveled with did the zipline tour which was wonderful.

Other Comments This hotel had no business pretending it was open and taking my money before it is adaquetely finished. There were absolutely no signs anywhere – the spa and gym were temporary and the whole place was dirty, not painted and smelled. There are apparently lots of water and building problems at the resort as my sister’s room had water running down the walls and she had to change rooms 3 times. One of the buildings had a large amount of water running down the outside of it from the top and stayed that way the whole time we were there. The drinks flowed freely to try to keep people happy. I will never again stay at any of the Palace Resorts. Extremely disappointing.

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  Moon Palace Casino Golf & Spa Resort   Debbie S ~ USA

March 2009

Good transfer from airport. The first impression is the massive piles of sand where the golf course will be someday.

Nice large room with a patio or balcony. The large double shower head is awesome!

Restaurants and Bars
Excellent service! Very pleasant and attentive.

The white sand beach is beautiful! What an unpleasant surpise to find that the riptides here are very strong so there is no swimming in the ocean! The pools are plentiful and pretty.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
2 excellent tours were offered (a safari and snorkeling) at no charge due to the delay in completion of the resort and the lack of being able to swim in the ocean…

Other Comments
Due to the recent opening of the resort there are many management and structural issues that need to be addressed. There is an electical problem in the rooms and the lights just turn off. The light switches are confusing and turn on and off a different light everytime you use it. The entire resort had no electricity for 4 hours one day. The toilets frequently backed up, the door fell off the safe twice and maintenance is VERY SLOW to respond. There is a strong language barrier. The resort is going to be huge. We got lost one night and security couldn’t help us as they did not speak or understand English.

We did have a very relaxing vacation and did enjoy ourselves even with the snags.

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  Moon Palace Casino Golf & Spa Resort   Ruth ~ Harley, Ontario, Canada

February 2009

Arrival: Jan 21 to Jan 28
Do not trust RCI or the hotel to give you the right info as we were told the resort was ready for visitors. I have since read a report on the hotel and they are now offering a "soft opening" with 25% discount. In no way should this resort have opened its doors to the public at least for another 2 months. There is still a lot of finishing work to be done in the hotel itself let alone the rows of complexes that house the rooms. There is a lot of walking but there are elevators but that was an inconvenience as only one in our complex was working and no ice machines working etc.. It is far from being finished. This is a huge resort complex . The casino is not opened nor will it even be ready for at least another 6 months. The golf course will not be ready for at least the same amount of time. There are no spa facilities opened or even ready When this resort is finished it will be awsome but for now anyone going there will only be disappointed if you are not aware of all the facts before you go. However since my husband and I did not encounter any problems other than the dissapointment of not being able to golf we did rather enjoy the the Dominican people and their way of making you smile and seeing how hard these people are working and the conditions they have to work under is truly amazing. They actually sing when they are working.

We were lucky to have had a room that for the most part was completed and they will be very beautiful when finished. The beds and pillows are ever so comfortable. There were others that had things go very wrong. A jaccuzi that had a drain that was not hooked up. Of course as soon as the plug was pulled to empty did it flood the room.Workers were always around either plastering or painting etc. Be wary if you are going now as there was no TV hook up or internet service. We did hear they were working on it. When it rained some of those on the top floor were experiencing leaks with plaster falling off ceilings.

Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurant were good one night but the next it would be served completely different or not what you thought you had ordered. Again staff was learning.

The grounds were constantly being worked on around the clock. The pools are beautiful and the beach is awsome although it is quite wiindy at times but I loved it.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There were only 3 or 4 tours to go on and activities are very limited at this time.I would advise that not travel to this resort with young children for at least a year.

Other Comments: There is a doctor on call 24 hrs. at the hotel. We needed her services for initestinal problems which were addressed promptly and did not interfere or keep us hold up in our room. We were back to normal with in hours of taking the medication.

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