Your Arrival: We checked in around 2:30 am to find that we had been upgraded from the Palace to the Royal Suites because the resort was overbooked. Since this was our first trip to a resort, we didn’t realize what this meant at first in terms of the extra perks we received during our stay that we would not have gotten at the Palace. The AC in our room was not working when we arrived, but the problem was fixed right away, even though it was the middle of the night! The receptionist offered to move us for the night so we could settle in, but we opted to wait for the repairs to be done. We had no further problems with the AC during our stay.
One thing we didn’t know: we had to insert our second room door card into a slot just inside the door to make the electricity work!
Rooms: The room was beautiful! Four poster bed, sitting area with two chairs and a love seat, 36 inch TV (although there were no good channels…we were hoping to catch the Olympics, but no channel carried them! According to our tour guide, the Dominicans don’t care about winter!), Jacuzzi tub, stand up shower, double sinks, digital safe in the closet, minifridge refilled with water, pop, beer and peanuts everyday. Word of caution: the minibar refiller seemed to be a one-shot deal. If you have your "do not disturb" sign on the door when he comes, you don’t get the refill!
My only complaint is that the door to the toilet stall did not extend completely from floor to ceiling, so one can’t be modest when using the bathroom.
Restaurants and Bars: We ate mainly at the Royal Gourmet, which is the restaurant exclusive to the guests of the Royal Suites. It features a la carte menu at every meal plus the buffet. The selection was fantastic and we enjoyed everything we had. (The filet mignon was to die for!) At some meals there was quite a wait for our a la carte meal) The wine for the most part was good, but the quality varied from meal to meal and restaurant to restaurant. Being guests at the Royal Suites allowed us to go to as many a la cartes as we liked, so we tried the Brazilian, Mediterranean, Italian and Asian. The location and atmosphere of the Italian was superb and we were serenaded by a mariachi band. The Mediterranean was well air-conditioned and the food was really good. The service at all the restaurants was excellent. The rules for booking our a la carte meals were not explained at the outset, so we were not able to book as many as we had wished.
We didn’t use the bars much, but the wait staff were all polite and fast.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach was great, although some people found it cool! They were bundled up in towels!! We only had trouble one day finding a chair. The pool was lovely, with recliners, chairs and beds to use. We never had trouble finding a place to sit.
The grounds were immaculate with lots of shrubs, palm trees
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: We chose not to participate in any activities off the resort. We did go to the Michael Jackson show and the American show, both were mediocre. We went to the disco on Friday night for 70’s and 80’s night and had a lot of fun! The vendors on the beach should be experienced by all. The bartering is fun.
The gift shops on the resort were reasonably priced, with a good selection of necessities, jewellery, liquor, cigars and clothes.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. All we did was relax, eat, sunbathe and enjoy each other’s company.