We had a great time at the Verandah in Antigua, but the Royal Service experience at the Paradisus Punta Cana has dethroned our beloved Verandah as our best all-inclusive resort experience thus far. For a frame of references, we have been to around twenty all-inclusive resorts so far. We were booked into the Reserve at Paradisus, and whether it was the fact that I am a Melia Rewards member, the fact that we were traveling with a group of six people in their thirties without any children and they wanted us out of the quite Reserve area, or the fact they overbooked, we were upgraded on arrival to the Royal Service at the Paradisus. The Melia Rewards card is free, so you might as well sign up for that before visiting one of their properties, in case that was the trick to the free upgrade.
The only complaint was that the check in process took a very, very long time without any communication. At one point I went up to our check in agent to make sure everything was okay (and that they had not lost our reservation or were over booked). There are snacks, a flat screen television, and computers in the Reserve front desk, but after a long plane ride and a short bus ride, and all of that time in the airport, we just wanted to get into our room and down to the beach. The wait was worth it because we were transferred closer to the beach and received the access bracelets for both the Royal Service and the Reserve. We had to wait again in the Royal Service lobby to meet our butler Miguel, but that lobby was stocked with a full bar and even more finger foods to keep us occupied.
Miguel was great, though we were at a loss as to what we needed him to help us do. He booked us our restaurant reservations, and was kind enough to re-schedule those reservations when we changed our plans. At one point Miguel recommended that we utilize him more and ask for more perks. Our reply was, “what should we even ask for?” He suggested champagne on ice in our rooms, which was a great idea.
The Reserve at the Paradisus Punta Cana and the Paradisus itself are attached and a short walk away. The Reserve was beautiful, and I would definitely recommend it for children. I saw a number of families utilize their concierge to do family and baby photo shoots, which looked like they produced some great memories. We utilized the services at both resorts during our stay.
The Royal Service portion of the Paradisus had a really nice small pool with in-water huts and loungers. There were day beds around the outside, and you could have your butler reserve them. There were also daybeds on the beach, and a variety of shade and non-shade options. They didn’t kick non-Royal Service people out of that area, and very nicely showed children and their families to one of the other pools. If you are an adult, check it out even if you did not reserve Royal Service.
The service was great at the pool bar, and for when they were busy they would put bottles of alcohol on ice with mixes in a “help yourself,” set up. The liquor at the resort is all the usual high-end name brands. The vodka was Grey Goose. The whiskey was Johnny Walker Black Label or Red Label. They had the knock off Bailey’s, but if you asked for the real stuff they would get it out of the fridge. The beer was local but they also had Coors Lite and Heineken.
The food at this resort was amazing, even the breakfast buffet at the Gabi Beach restaurant. The La Palapa was one our favourites. We loved that you could go there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Grill, Aqua, Mole, were all awesome as well. We tried most of the other restaurants, including “the Winery – Tapas and Wine Experience”, which is not included in the all-inclusive. It was great too, but I probably would not pay for it again.
In the front lobby there was nightly entertainment, including an awesome Queen cover band one night. The Gabi Beach Bar was fun, with professional go-go dancers and DJs on the beach some nights. We would always end our night in the M Bar where Alexis and another bartender, whose name is escaping me, would keep us entertained perhaps too late into the evenings. Other bartenders of note are Junior, Juan, and Diogenes “Aye Aye Aye”!
The gym was well equipped. There is a spinning studio with room to do cardio, pilates, yoga or anything else for which wide open space is good for to the left. They put the spin bikes into the larger pool for in-water spinning classes, so they are a bit… abused. But the place has a spin studio in the first place, so it is hard to complain about older bikes. To the right is a room with several treadmills, two spin bikes, several weight machines, and three benches with free weights. The room to the right had a number of flat screen televisions which were usually programmed to sports to keep you entertained while you put in your kilometres.
The rooms we were in were very spacious with a small living room. We would receive alcohol, water, pop, and snacks in the room each day. The rooms also had what was essentially a private backyard with a daybed in the back.
The beach was beautiful and white, a blue ribbon recipient, and it does not have any of the erosion issues some of the other Punta Cana resorts have.
We definitely would return and we now pay more attention when booking to Melia owned properties, and specifically the Reserve and Paradisus options. The Royal Service experience was so great, I am not sure I would pay more for a Sandals in the future at this stage in our lives.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the unpretentious luxury of Paradisus Punta Cana Resort. An extraordinary island retreat offering a super balance of natural and man-made wonders. Open-air architecture, featuring indigenous organic materials like raw coral and exotic hardwoods, houses an impossibly sumptuous gallery of luxury suites and an exclusive garden villa. All-inclusive and all encompassing, Paradisus Punta Cana Resort is an ocean front playground for all ages. Tennis, championship golf, every non-motorized water sport imaginable, a magnificent array of restaurants, our own casino, an incredible spa for kids, an exquisite full-service spa and health club and personal world-class service all seamlessly unite to deliver you the relaxing, romantic, carefree, fun-filled experience of a lifetime. The resort features 688 oversized suites including 143 royal service suites and 4 ambassador ocean view suites, plus a one-of-a-kind oceanfront garden villa. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Melia Hotels APAC, Expedia, Booking.com and Agoda so you can book your Paradisus Punta Cana Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Paradisus Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana