Secrets Royal Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Trip Report: 5/10-5/20/2011
Once we arrived at the Punta Cana airport, we were immediately impressed with the welcoming, cheerful attitude of all of the airport, immigration, airlines and customs folks who made us feel truly welcome! The airport is composed of varying sizes of open-air palapas and the main building is huge. The large ceiling fans and constant breezes provided an extremely pleasant atmosphere. The immigration process went extremely smoothly and the IBK Services transportation company was waiting to drive us to Secrets. While our message requesting a cold beer and cool bottle of water was somehow missed, our driver stopped at a convenience store en route to make this right and we then enjoyed a flawless trip to our hotel.
Upon our arrival at Secrets, we were impressed with level of service, the cool beverage and cookie offerings upon check in. The resort is beautiful! While we were checking in we were offered a ‘partial ocean view’ for an additional $20.00 per night. Since the particular ‘partial ocean view’ room location that we wanted was not available on the day we checked in, we stayed for one night in a non-partial ocean view room and switched the very next day. The rooms are luxurious, have individual reading lights (a nice feature), twice daily housekeeping service that includes turn down service, and a half sized fridge that is replenished daily with bottles water and sodas. The bathroom has granite counters, twin vessel type sinks, a spacious glass walled shower with a hand held shower head, and a separate water closet with bidet. Again, we were impressed with the level of service and great attitude of the service people. When we said ‘thank you’ to anyone on the hotel staff, the constant response was, ‘it is a pleasure,’ a nice touch indeed. We found housekeeping, restaurant servers, and all other staff to be extremely responsive to requests.
On our 2nd day in Punta Cana we made it to Steve’s Bar to meet up with other TA folks, finally that is. No one at the Secrets front desk had heard of it leave alone knew where it was! Fortunately, the concierge allowed me to use his computer, under his very watchful eye, and I posted our problem on TA. Thankfully, ‘Cherie07’ responded to my post in a matter of minutes, including a warning about the pushy vendors (thanks Cherie 07!) and we got a taxi to Steve’s. We met up with PC Mike, Mike Fisher (who’d seen our TA post, knew we were en route, and let some other TA folks know-thanks Mike!), folks from the USA and also from ’across the pond.’ We stayed for about 2 hours, had a blast, and returned to our resort. Unfortunately, since Brugal was not able to make it there as he’d suspected, we weren’t able to meet him, his wife, nor their daughter.
The restaurant offerings at Secrets include the La Riviera buffet, available for 3 meals daily and we ate breakfast here every day and sat outside, quite refreshing and a gorgeous view, Bordeaux, a French themed, fixed menu dinner only location (the menu does not change and offers inside seating only) and the Seaside Grill dinner only steak restaurant (inside & outside seating). Table service at Secrets while dining in the La Riviera area was excellent with servers regularly refilling beverages, clearing plates and such. While we enjoyed La Riviera for breakfast and lunch, we didn’t especially enjoy the other two. While guests of Secrets can dine at the adjacent sister property, Now Larimar, the reverse is not possible as Now Larimar is not an adults only property. We dined at all of the Now Larimar restaurants except for their buffet, and were not particularly impressed save Mercure, the French restaurant and Spice, the Tepenyaki restaurant. When conversing and visiting with folks staying at Now Larimar, they were distinctly not impressed with the food, however the grounds are really lovely. Since my husband is a ‘foodie,’ he became bored with the dining options after awhile and was particularly disappointed with Capers, the Now Larimar Italian themed restaurant. However, the Tepanyaki experience at Spice was really fun and the food was great!
Daily evening entertainment options were available at both resorts. On the Secrets side on the main courtyard, which was pleasantly furnished with tables and chairs, there was daily evening music and sometimes singers as well. Since Secrets is adults only, the music was ‘quieter.’ Also available in the courtyard was table service, with the impressive levels of service mentioned elsewhere in this post. On the Now Larimar side, evening entertainment tended to be interactive and distinctly louder, including a Karaoke night where we had fun as participants. I saw on a TA post before we left making mention of how enjoyable the Michael Jackson review was and since we attended must say that we agree, it was fun!
We spent our outdoor time at the pool and did not have experience any difficulties securing chaise loungers. By and large we observed that folks were respectful of the belongings of others, including ours, when we’d leave for lunch. The resort had plastic floats in the pool for all to use. In any case, we prefer bringing our own, the type with mesh that partially submerges your body in the water that is much cooler and more pleasant than those made of all plastic. The pool configuration is of the ‘lazy river’ type and we had fun in it.
The beach was OK by my standards. During our week (we were there for 10 days) the water was uncomfortable cool/cold. During our last days, the water had warmed up a bit. Even so, we didn’t find the beach appealing so we happily spent our days at the pool.
We spent our days at the pool, sunning, reading, and generally taking it quite easy. We took daily breaks from the pool for lunch at La Riviera, again, dining outside. During the evenings before heading off for dinner, we spent time in the lobby bar enjoying cocktails and playing cards or Scrabble. Later in the evening after dinner, we either went to Now Larimar for evening entertainment or returned to Secrets Lobby Bar for more cards. Another option for evening entertainment was movies on the beach, a novel concept. On the evenings that movies were offered, an inflatable movie screen was set up on the beach between the two resorts. I admit to being a movie buff and we watched two movies on the beach and really enjoyed watching movies under the stars!
The resort has a daily newsletter listing tat day’s activity offerings, weather report (in our experience, not terribly accurate), restaurant hours, and since all restaurants are not open daily, save the buffet, a list of the closures, and the hours of the open dinner venues. Also included were the names of any guests celebrating weddings or birthdays. We noticed that on guest room door white banners with gold lettering saying ‘honeymoon’ or ‘happy birthday,’ a nice touch.
If any questions about anything not included, please let me know and I’ll answer; PM me.
Finally, a huge shout out to all of the TA folks who shared their Punta Cana knowledge and experiences. All of that info went a long way towards our having a great vacation!!! In particular, thank you to Brugal-we’re sorry that we missed meeting you and your family.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally situated on the picturesque palm-studded, sugar white Playa Bavaro beach on the eastern coastline of the Dominican Republic, Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana offers adults all the privileges of Unlimited-Luxury(R). Guests will immediately be embraced within an extraordinary environment where luxury illuminates every detail and our high level of personal service is unmatched. To ensure your romantic escape is everything you've imagined, every detail of your stay will be flawlessly provided and superbly attended to. From the fine quality linens to the daily refreshed mini bar and the unlimited premium brand beverages to the pool and beach wait service. You'll be immersed within a world of stunning architectural design coupled with resplendent views of the lush gardens, crystal-clear Caribbean Sea and dazzling swimming pools. This tranquil, romantic haven in Playa Bavaro is like nothing else you've ever experienced before. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Secrets Royal Beach Hotel Punta Cana