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“Secrets Royal Beach, Punta Cana, Trip Report: May 2011”

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Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
Ranked #8 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 7 June 2011

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.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank charlotte97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7,520 - 7,524 of 10,001 reviews

Reviewed 6 June 2011

We just returned from a stay with friends in Ocean View Rooms (5367-5369) May 28th to June 2nd. The resort was just taken over on May 1st by Secrets. The staff remained the same and Secrets has started to make improvements to the resort.

BEWARE: They have enlisted a small army of people that will try to get you to attend a 90 minute presentation with promises of free vacation packages. This is the equivilant of a TIME SHARE SALES PITCH and will include high pressure sales tactics. You will be approached first in the lobby when you check in and again all around the resort during your stay. If you do attend the presentation that 90 minutes will stretch into 3 hours or more and they will not disclose the signed contract requirements or cost until the last minute. Do yourself a favor and don't ruin your vacation by attending this SCAM. That said now I will review the resort.

Service: Excellent. We Have no complaints about any of the staff or service we received during our stay.

Rooms: Oceanview 3rd floor rooms were spacious. Other reviews stated that the beds were on the firm side and I would agree with that only because I have a pillowtop mattress at home. The lighting over the bathroom vanity was less that adequate as they are highhat lights and cast shadows on your face while at the vanity. Point of interest about room numbers--- There are 6 buildings, 3 on one side and 3 on the other with gardens and the lazy river seperating them. On one side is the 4000 building and on the other side is the 5000 buildings. Each building has 3 floors. The floor is identified by the second number of the room number. Example, 4102 is 1st floor, 4202 is 2nd floor, 4302 is 3rd floor. The smaller numbers start at the plaza and go higher as you move toward the ocean with the last numbers being 4180, 4280,4380. All rooms in the 4000 building are even numbered and face the gardens or the lazy river with 4 exceptions. There are 4 rooms in the 4000 building that face the ocean, 4191,4192,4291,4292. Both buildings stretch from the plaza by the lobby to the pool with the swim-up bar by the ocean. The 5000 buildings are divided into 2 sides with a central hall way running down the middle. The rooms are numbered from 5102,5202,5302 to 5184,5284,5384 and 5101,5201,5301 to 5181,5281,5381. The even numberd rooms face a service road and the odd numbered rooms face the gardens or lazy river. All the dining facilities are located in one complex between the beach and the end of the 5000 building. The walkways between all the buildings are covered and there is no need for an umbrella at this resort. All first floor units have their own lounge chairs outside their units but no privacy for their Jacuzzi.

Pools: The Lazy River Pool was excellent. It is a winding pool about 790 feet long and they kept it spotless. Bring a small float with you. The main pool was seperate from the lazy river and had the swim-up bar and music.

Beach: The beach was more than adequate for this size resort. There are many lounge chairs and we never had a problem getting one under a palm tree. Yes, the ones at the ocean front were always taken but that was not a problem for us. The seaweed was cleaned up from the beach twice a day and there is always some floating in the water. Again, this is the ocean... need I say more.

Food: This part of any persons review is going to be "subjective". There were four of us and we each had different tastes. You will be able to use all the facilities at the NOW Larimar resort that is attached to the Secrets resort. Both resorts have buffet style dinning. The NOW is more family oriented with food and service to match. Secrets is geared to "adults only" and the food, atmosphere and service are far superior. We also ate in the following restaurants in Secrets: Oceana was enjoyed by all of us. The food was well presented and of excellent quality and served by a very attentive staff. Seaside Grill was an excellent steak house and again the service and food was enjoyed by all.
Now Larimar: Capers Italian did not meet our expectations and we would not reccommend it. Again, this is subjective. Bluewater Grill is on the order of an american chain steakhouse. Food was good and service was just ok.

Entertainment: We went to the NOW resort for all of our nightly entertainment. We found the Secrets entertainment to be geared to a more lay back type of person.

Overall we were all satisfied with the resort and would consider it as a return destination.

Room Tip: Use the room location guide I provided
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
20  Thank Redstar1943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2011

For the last 8 yrs, about 20 of our closest friends from several cities in USA, get together to spend a week down in Punta Cana. This was our second time in this hotel and the service was even better. We found the rooms very clean and smelling great. The food was very good and the service outstanding, as we like it.!
We need to recognize the outstanding job of several individuals that made our stay an outstanding one, they are:
Francis Mejia (Restaurant) - The Best!!! the most helpful person we have ever seen. He was ready to serve us 24/7 (like he used to tell us).
Juan Rijo, Esmeregildo Batista, Hector Sepulveda and their boss Carlos Familia.
In the bars: Willy, Ruth, Raul and their boss Alejandro Salvador.
Clarita Escribano (Resident Mgr) and Emilio (Food & Beverage Director) were and excellent management team.
There are many great hotels in that are, but the service is what makes it special!!!!!!
(Los Cubanos de Miami Group)

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Dtraso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2011

When I booked this resort I was looking for a high-end, quiet, adults only vacation. Somewhere to sit back and relax. I am sad to say that I did not find it. The resort itself was nice, but not the quality that I expected from a Secrets Resort. The staff was great but was overshadowed by poor management, too loud entertainment and average facilities. I was also turned off by the “personal concierge” offered by the hotel whose only goal is to try and sell you a time-share.

I have traveled extensively through Mexico and the Carribean so this is not my first walk in the park. I have also had the opportunity to visit other AM Resorts. Maybe if I didn’t know the difference in a quality resort I wouldn’t have minded. But unfortunately this was not the case.

SERVICE- Service at the restaurants and bars was prompt and the staff was pleasant. Never ate at the a la carte’s so I cannot comment on the service.

CLEANLINESS- The resort was clean overall and well kept. I did have a few issues with our first room being cleaned and dirty items not being changed out.

GROUNDS- Grounds were nice and maintained. I cannot get over why the resort would allow staff to spray insecticide right in the middle of cocktail hour while guests were sitting outside. Literally the man was wearing a respirator and had a huge fogging machine and gassed everyone out of the area. This happened twice while I was there.

FOOD- Food was your average resort food. Not bad but nothing to write home about.

BEACH- Beach was nice but a little small. The water was nice, not rocky but did have seaweed (it is an ocean). The staff was out twice daily raking and cleaning. I would suggest bringing bug spray to the beach. The sand fleas were horrible.

If you want a palapa in the front you need to get up early and play the towel game. If you don’t mind being stuck in the back of the beach without a view there is no problem finding a spot.

Music at the beach was loud and was coupled by the fact that the main thoroughfare for the “booze cruises” go right past the beach blaring music at you. We like to relax at the beach with a good book and found this to be an annoyance.

Beach Service- NON-EXISTENT. One day out of five there was service at the beach. We were approached once by the wait staff for our drink order (water) and she forgot it.


ENTERTAINMENT- The hotel does offer live entertainment in the evenings (8pm-11pm), which is a nice touch. They do not however take into consideration that the resort is small and sound really travels. If you stay anywhere but the last building you may want to bring earplugs. Don’t get me wrong the entertainment is a nice touch but it does not have to be that loud. I stayed in the third building on the third floor and felt like I had a front row seat to the show.

When addressing the concern to management twice I was offered to move at 11:00 pm t to a room with two queen beds. Not really an option since I was traveling with a spouse. Turning down the volume would have been appropriate since there were literally five people enjoying the entertainment.

MANAGEMENT- Management at the resort is poor. After the incident with the noise I wanted to move the room. I went through three managers with my concerns not only about the noise but repeated problems with the safe, a closet door not opening, poor housekeeping and an alarm clock that didn’t work. The response with each manager was “Did you let anyone know about the problem”. My reply was yes, I have wasted hours of my vacation trying to resolve the problems and after 3 days of trying I have finally had enough. I was told by the head of guest services that she would personally see to it that the issues were addressed and get another room within an hour.

This promise was not lived up to. After leaving the beach to meet the bellboy at the room at the promised time I received a call stating that it would be another hour. Again, I went back to the room and there was a bellboy but no management. He proceeded to move me to another room, which of course was not ready. Had the management “personally” addressed the situation as promised this would not have happened.

Additionally, once moved there was not one follow-up to see if the room was satisfactory nor was there any attempt to offer something for the inconvenience (bottle of wine, dinner reservation). Actually, the only person that even apologized was the bellboy.

Overall the resort was just average. It’s sad because I think if management paid more attention to details it could be a lot better. However I would not return to this resort.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Melissa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Resident_Mgr_Asst, General Manager at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded 3 November 2012

Dear Secrets Royal Beach Valued Guest,

Thank you for your time and effort writing a review about your vacation experience at our beautiful Resort Secrets Royal Beach.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconveniences you have encountered during your stay.

We regret not being able to meet your expectations. We take every comment serious and your points of criticism are beneficial suggestions to us to improve the service quality to our valued guests like you.

Thank you again for your genuine feedback.

It will be a great pleasure to be able to serve you again in the future as one of our precious guests.

Respectfully,

Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Av. Alemania S/N , El Cortecito, Bávaro Beach
Provincia La Altagracia
Republica Dominicana

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2011

My Hubby and I just got back yesterday from 7 days at Secrets Royal beach it was very nice. The people were all so nice and bent over backwards to do anything for you they could. The room was ammaculate at all times they cleaned it at least 2 times a day and brought us clean towels. We had a deluxe Tropical view room it was a large room and we had a kingsize bed it was very comfortable the only complaint i had was they only gave us 3 pillows and the blanket was dirty with stains i did call and they brought us another pillow and a new comforter for the bed. Another complaint I have is the website said we got robes and slippers which we didnt have so i told our concerire that we didnt have any so he had them send up robes no slippers though and the robes were cheap and they looked like they were for a 8 year old kid way to small for us and itchy anyway so that was crappy. Another thing we didnt like was that the Concerire and alot of the other ones bothered us daily tryiing to get us to go to a presentation with them to get a free package and stuff and they dont call it a TIMESHARE but that is what it is and we didnt fall for it. We talked to a couple from Boston that went to it and they said it was a RIP OFF they had actually gave the guy like 1200.00 for a downpayment on the timeshare and the resort said they needed 2800 more on the spot to get the free week that they promised them so the couple had to get smart with them to get their 1200 back and get out of it so stay away from that thing they try to sucker you into they tell you it is only 30 min of your time but that couple said it was 3 hours they took of their vacation for that crap. We had orginally booked the Now Larimar before changing to Secrets and boy we are glad we did!!!!!!!!!!!! THe Now Larmar Pool was an ugly green color water not appealing at all and crowded with teenagers and kids and loud and they had horrible foods in the buffetts on that side that the food taste like cardboard. The Buffet on Secrets where we were was very good food alot of flys though. The badside to the resort was that the beach was dirty with seaweed and there were so many boats in and out that it wasnt safe to get in water and there were guards every 3 feet with clubs guarding the beach and alot of people coming up and bugging people to try and sell them stuff and they would follow you on the beach so we didnt feel safe walking the beach and there was alot of bottles and trash on down from the resort on beach. Another thing that needs improved at the resort is they need better entertainment for at night was lacking alot of places to go the Disco was no good it was hot no airconditioner and the music wasnt any good. The French Restruant was very good we ate there 2 times and the Japanese restruant was good we liked the sit down side better the Hibachhi was hot and not that good of food. The Seaside grill and the Oceananic restruants were very good!!!!!!!!! We didnt eat at the Italian restruant we heard alot of people sayinig the food there was HORRIBLE also they said the food at the Steak house next to the italian was horrible too and that service was lousy. ANother complaint we have is that they ran out of beach towels too quickly and sometimes we had to wait an half an hour to get one. The coffee with the cream is very very good there we loved the coffee. Be careful eating the cheeses and the icecream not pasterized and one man we met got sick with diarrereah and ruined his whole day.

Room Tip: I would get a swim up room or a ocean view
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank vannycoe69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana

Address: Ave Alemania S/N | El Cortecito, Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#4 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#7 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#8 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#11 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: ₹ 18,837 - ₹ 48,977 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana 4.5*
Number of rooms: 465
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 
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