We flew Air Transat Club Class from Toronto. Good flight, everything was on time. We arrived at Punta Cana Airport around 8 p.m. and it was pouring with rain. The plane was close to the airport entrance, but we still got soaked. The girls that take your picture when you arrive weren’t too happy, as we were all soaked and no one wanted their picture taken. Immigration was quick, as usual, and we got our luggage and grabbed a taxi to Palma Real. Not one of our better taxi experiences. We told him we wanted to go to Palma Real and he repeated it, but somewhere along the way, maybe after he stopped at a gas station for 15 minutes to get gas, he forgot where we were going and thought we were going to Ocean Blue. We said no, we’re going to Palma Real, so he had to turn around and spent the rest of the time apologizing in Spanish. Taxi fare was $30.00 U.S. Paradisus Palma Real is located about 25 minutes from the airport.(depending on your taxi driver). It is just north of Melia Caribe Tropical. With a total of 554 rooms, it is one of the smaller resorts in Punta Cana. The hotel is absolutely beautiful. They had beautiful Christmas decorations and lights everywhere. As you enter the hotel, the front desk is to the left, and to the right is a large carpeted lobby bar with comfortable seating. A large central staircase takes you to the ground level, where you will find all of the restaurants on the left side, and the Onyx Bar/Disco, Casino, Games Room, and Theatre on the right side, with fountains and seating areas in the middle. There is also an elevator that goes to the ground level. Checkin was quick and we were given our wristbands and taken to our room with our luggage in a golf cart. The bellboy showed us how everything worked in the room and showed us the “shortcut” across the gardens to reach the lobby/restaurant area.
Our room was a Deluxe Garden View Suite, Room 1051, which is one of their regular suites. It was in a location convenient to the lobby/restaurant area, and about a 2 minute walk to the pool and beach. It was next to a pathway, so was a little noisy at times. I will describe the various rooms in more detail later, but basically the rooms are the same, it’s just the included amenities and room location that are different.
Room types at Paradisus Palma Real are as follows: Deluxe Garden View Suites (regular rooms) 520 square feet – located on right side of property (as you face the entrance to the resort). Regal Ocean View Jacuzzi Suites – same as above, but with ocean view. Imperial Romance Ocean View Jacuzzi Suites (honeymoon suites) As above, but with 400 thread count sheets, romantic room setup, luxury amenities by Etro, his and hers sarong-style bathrobes, fresh flower arrangements and chocolates.
Luxury Junior Suites – 560 square feet with garden view or ocean view Located on the left side of property as you face the entrance to resort. Includes a Jacuzzi for two, separate living room area with sofa bed, equipped kitchenette, daily stocked minibar, and connection available with a one bedroom Master Suite. One-bedroom Master Suite with Jacuzzi – This is the only accommodation that allows 2 adults and 3 children. – 815 square feet with Garden View or Ocean View, one kingsize bed, bathroom with Jacuzzi for two and double sinks, Luxury amenities, separate living room with sofa bed, daily stocked refrigerator, equipped kitchen, separate dining area, and connection available with luxury junior suite for larger families. This is really nice, it’s just like an apartment.
Rooms for People with Disabilities
There are specially-equipped rooms for people with disabilities – wider doors for wheelchair access, grab bars, etc. There is an elevator in the lobby area to get to ground level.
The resort is built in the shape of an “M” (for Melia). The lobby, common areas and restaurants are located in the middle, with the rooms to the left and the right. It is possible to walk under cover from one end of the resort to the other. In the area between the rooms and common areas are beautiful, well-manicured gardens, with ponds, fountains, and wildlife – turtles, fish, and flamingos.
Weather and Bugs
The weather was beautiful for the most part. Even though it rained at some point nearly every day, showers were brief. Temperatures were in the mid-80’s, dropping off to comfortable mid-70’s at night. So if you are looking at forecasts for Punta Cana, don’t be alarmed when you see rain forecast every day! There was only one day during this week where it was cloudy and rained off and on most of the day. It did get a little windy the last couple of days of our stay here. No problem whatsoever with bugs or mosquitos the week we were there.
Beach and Pool
This hotel is located on a beautiful stretch of beach that was kept very clean. The hotel was at about 60 per cent occupancy the week we were there. There was never any problem finding chairs in the shade, either at the pool or on the beach. They also have a couple dozen “Bali beds” (big mattresses under a palapa) . These are so comfortable! One morning when it was raining we got one of these and just relaxed and read, keeping perfectly dry. The pool is very large, with a swim-up bar, and numerous “jacuzzis” (cold) and fountains throughout the pool, as well as built-in tiled sunbeds you can lay on and be partially submerged in the water.
There are no towel cards at this resort! The beach towels are large and luxurious, you just go and get them at the Clubhouse by the pool/beach. You will see wicker baskets with lids throughout the pool area, these are for your dirty beach towels. Some people tended to just leave their towels on the chairs when they went back to their rooms, and pool attendants had to go around and collect them. Be considerate and return your towel when you leave for the day, or take it to your room with you for the next day.