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Reviewed 11 March 2012

We planned a family vacation at the “Reserve” at Paradisus in Punta Cana. We are a family of four. We had our two daughters with us who are 13 and 16 in age. This is a warning to anyone who is reading this. I read the reviews before our vacation and didn’t think it could be as bad as they made it out to be. Well, I should have listened. Let me start with the positive about this vacation…the place is pretty. Ok, now the negative. Where should I begin. Once you arrive you are assigned a concierge only to find out that her only mission is to sell you the “VIP Club” Once you say you are not interested your concierge disappears. You can’t make dinner reservations for your entire stay you can only do three days in advance. Of course, since you didn’t purchase the “VIP club” you don’t the prime times at the restaurants. The quality of the food is unacceptable to anyone not living in third world country. The meat they are serving is not Prime and it is mostly fat. The service is so bad that at one of the a’la carte restaurants we were eating dinner, at the table next to us got up and went to the buffet and brought dinner back to their table instead of waiting for the food that they ordered. If you are lucky enough to find someone who speaks English as soon as there is a problem, they don’t understand English anymore. The rooms are so dark that I suggest you bring a miner’s hat with you so you can see in the bathroom. The showers are so dark you can’t see what you are doing. Don’t get me started on the bathroom sinks. You need to wear a wetsuit to just wash your face or brush your teeth. The water sprays everywhere. The maids are aware of the situation since she told my husband not to turn the water on all the way!!!!

We had a horrific experience with our 16-year-old daughter. We had ordered her room service since we were going out to dinner off remises since the food at the resort is inedible. Once we left, the room service delivery boy saw us leaving and had the audacity to call up to our room and tell our daughter that he was coming up to pick up the room service tray. One she opened the door he was there with ONE pica colada in his hands and offered it to our daughter. He then made inappropriate conversation with her and made her very uncomfortable. Once we heard about this, we told the hotel management and they could care less. All they said was “sorry” Needless to say; from that point forward our children were not out of our sight or alone for the remainder of our trip.

Since we travel frequently with our children, we let them charge to the room if they aren’t with us. Well, not at this hotel. I would have to go with my kids every time they wanted candy from the sundry store. If you didn’t put money on a credit card when you checked in, you didn’t have the luxury of charging, no to mention if it was within business hours.

We finally had to get the hotel manager to intervene and make us dinner reservations and get beach chairs, don’t get me started on the beach. The music is so loud and not relaxing with all of the booze cruise boats circling the area. If you enjoy drinking out of paper cups, this is the spot for you. If you stayed by a pool near your room, you could wait all day for a waiter to come by and ask if you wanted something to drink. These are things that every traveler is used to while staying at a high end resort. The best part of this vacation aside from leaving was the Michael Jackson show they had one night. That didn’t even start on time. The casino is a joke. What kind of a casino only has penny and nickel slot machines and four card tables?

On our last day, we had arranged for the bellhop to come at 2 pm to pick up our luggage. At 2:30 I had the car service calling me telling me that he was waiting. I said I am still waiting for them to come and get my luggage. They were blaming us for not being downstairs when they never came to get out luggage. They finally arrive after I yelled once more and my husband had to help carry all the luggage. They were only concerned with cutting off our bracelets.

One last thought, if they had offered me a free vacation for the rest of my life, I would say NO. DON'T GO HERE!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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25  Thank Jacke L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementPPRL, General Manager at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2012

Dear Jacke,

First and foremost, please accept our gratitude for you having taken the time to air your comments and concerns. Your observations are very important to us as they allow us to identify our improvement areas. Receive my sincerest apologies if you were not able to meet your expectations. I assure you that the managers of the various departments involved have been informed of your particular observations, and that appropriate measures will be taken wherever possible.


I am so sorry to learn that you did not enjoy our several dining options; it is very difficult to please all of our guests in this aspect especially since everyone’s perception on food is very personal.

I regret any difficulties you may have experienced when communicating with our staff. We have a great task ahead of us concerning this issue. As a matter of fact, we provide intensive educational courses, including English classes, since we understand their importance in our continuous effort to improve the quality of customer service. Nonetheless, I can assure you that all the departments that are directly in contact with our guests have an English-speaking staff.


Mrs. Jacke, once again, thank you for your constructive observations. As I mentioned before, we understand that there is always room for improvement and our guests’ experiences play a key role in this continuous process.

I hope to have the pleasure to welcome you again at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real Resort.

Sincerely,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director

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Reviewed 10 March 2012

As a Club Melia member - yes we succumbed to the marketing push - our experiences for the last two years have been excellent. Our concierge (Heidy) was extremely helpful and responded to our every request (including the dinner reservations etc). We found room service to be prompt and very polite.

We had one problem with hot water in the showers, and they responded very quickly and found the problem

We have travelled throughout the Caribbean, and find the Reserve to be an excellent choice. We look for a quiet week, and found the location to be perfect (they could lower the music around the main reserve pool a little) with a very quiet room, and the evenings were great.
The staff at all of the restaurants, as well as the reception staff, were very pleasant, eager to please and served us well.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Rick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementPPRL, General Manager at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2012

Dear Rick,

I would like to thank you for the confidence placed in us to celebrate your vacation for the second time. I am happy to know that in The Reserve, you have found the perfect place for a relaxing and quiet vacation.

I feel proud to know that Heidy participated in making your stay more enjoyable by providing you with excellent service, and your mention of her in this review is really appreciated.

Rick, we await you soon at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real for a next unforgettable vacation.

Best regards,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director

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Reviewed 10 March 2012

My wife and I went to The Reserve with my sister and brother- in-law in late November until early December 2011. This resort was the perfect place to relax. It's beautiful, very clean and the staff was awesome. Three staff members really took care of us the whole time. I would like to thank our server Jose who at the end of our trip gave us a beautifully decorated bottled gift he made himself of a local drink named MamaWana! Also Ray who manages the pool bar and lunch grill was so accommodating and even had the chef prepare us a special meal that was so delicious and hit the spot after a long day of swimming and being in the sun. Lastly the concierge Luis was the man with the plan! I'm in the service industry and I'll tell you this guy is an asset to have on anyones staff. He made sure our trip was catered to everything we wanted it to be, thank you Luis! My only complaint on this whole trip was the rude Europeans that were from France, Germany and especially the ones from Spain. They were being so rude to the staff I was getting very angry and my wife had to stop me from opening my mouth. I saw a few servers being grabbed by the arm while holding dirty dishes to basically be lectured that their coffee cups were empty. On another occasion one guy was yelling at the breakfast chef because the chef asked how would you like your omelette and the guys response was "you stupid idiot I want it the way you made it yesterday!" these are just a couple of many incidents that I witnessed. Also nobody other than us were leaving any tips for the staff . The reason why these Hotels are affordable is because the staff at these hotels only get paid about $150.00 US a month! Leaving one dollar for these guys goes a long way for them. Anyways, other than the jerk vactioners the hotel and staff was awesome!

  • Stayed: December 2011
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3  Thank Arcadian2910
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementPPRL, General Manager at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2012

Dear Arcadian,

I am very pleased to know that you, your sister and brother in law had a wonderful stay with us and it is a real honour for me to hear your comments about our facilities and the exceptional service you have received from all our staff. I will personally pass on your comments to each one of them, especially to Jose, Luis, and Ray.

We await you soon at your second home, The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real.

Best regards,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director

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Reviewed 2 March 2012

We arrived at the beautiful resort and were looking forward to a lovely visit, but unfortunately Dahmy (our assigned concierge) left us with an unnecessarily bad impression. She tricked us into a 30 minute marketing push & then basically forced us to begin a 90 minute sales meeting. We left after 2 minutes with the next woman (we were there for the beach, certainly not for meetings we were tricked into) & Dahmy treated us terribly for the rest of our stay. She went from overly friendly to nasty and rude, while providing terrible service - including dinner reservations an hour and a half after we asked for every night (as Reserve guests paying extra, we expected a helpful concierge).

It was a beautiful place and we would have absolutely come back or visited another location, but she unfortunately changed that. Reservations, etc became unnecessarily frustrating. It's too bad...

  • Stayed: February 2012
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9  Thank FrequentTraveler2468
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementPPRL, General Manager at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2012

Dear guest,

First and foremost, please accept our gratitude for you having taken the time to air your comments and concerns regarding your recent stay with us. We appreciate the observations concerning the service you have received from Dalmy. Please let this not be a motive to not stay with us in the future. Even though I can assure you that we continuously work with our staff in order to improve the quality of our services, I also have to say that in general our guests perceive the Dominicans to have a friendly, cheerful and sympathetic nature.

I do hope to have the opportunity to serve you at the future in The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real Resort.

Best regards,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director

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Reviewed 28 February 2012

Our stay at the Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real was almost perfect. We stayed from 02/19 - 02/26 in a one bedroom master suite. The room was very nice, clean, and furniture looked very new. The pool was very nice however more seats are needed at the Reserve pool where kids swim

We had the following issues which were disappointed
1. Making diner reservations is extremely frustrating. The concierges that assist to make the reservation always have excuses why something is booked. We arrived at the hotel at 4 PM and were told the reservation window for the day was closed/everything was booked and we had to eat in the buffet. After telling them we did not pay thousands of dollars to eat in a buffet they were able to get us a 6 PM dinner reservation and was told every other time slot and restaurant was booked. This was a LIE. We ate at the restaurant from 6 – 7 (1 hour). When we left there were 15 tables empty with only 4 customers. We then went for a walk and every other restaurant at 7 PM was EMPTY, less than 20% seated. We received our reservations from the concierge the next day for the rest of the week and the times were all over the place 6 PM, 9 PM, 6:15 PM, 9:30 PM, ect. After getting nowhere with two concierges we went and spoke to the hostess at each restaurant who said it would be no problem and all changed our reservation to 7 PM each night. Only Passion was seated at 80% capacity at every restaurant we ate. I would recommend not dealing with concierges and talk to the hostess.
2. The TV service and internet service was spotty at best. Most of the time the TV was static and internet was slow or did not work. They never fixed it. But hey we were in Punta Cana not for TV/Internet but don’t go their expecting to be able to work if you need these. My Blackberry was faster than the hotels internet
3. Much less of an issue was the room cleaning. It was never done in one part\time of the day – sometimes at 9 AM and other times at 4 PM. The same was true about turn down service, it was either 7 PM or 10 PM or never. We had a 2 year old with us so it would have been a great service for the hotel to ask what time we wanted these services.

The Good and the Great
1. The food at breakfast is awesome. They have the best bacon I ever had; I must have eaten a pound. The variety at breakfast is great – American, Spanish, fruits, almost everything.
2. The fresh fruits are awesome at every meal
3. Passion restaurant is the best with Market Grill the coming in a close second. The fish is great at Market Grill but steaks are a bit fatty for different types we tried.
4. Beach was awesome. The resort purchased a machine to clean the seaweed from the sand so it was much cleaner than in the past.
5. The Reserve at night was very quiet. We heard no noise or music. The Palma Real is very loud at night with music and performances until about 12 AM.

The staff
1. Most of the concierges are rude and don’t go out of their way to help you. We never heard from them after getting our diner reservations. In my opinion fire them ALL.
2. The golf cart drivers are great. Fernando Santana should be made a manager to train what customer service is. Every time he drove us he helped us on/off with bags and gave recommendations and info of events.
3. There are only male waiters in the restaurants (except breakfast) which is something my wife picked up on. Don’t know why but it annoyed my wife that they did not treat women equally
4. Pool guy at the SMVC/Reserve Pool by beach is great guy. Always got us fresh towels and asked if we needed anything. Being asked if you need anything is 75% of customer service.

Overall we would go again. However the parent company needs to put more attention on detail and training their concierges. You can tell most did not work their way up from bell hops/maids. Most are graduates from college that think they are too good for the job. At my company we promote from within and those are always the best employees. Some people might consider these things petty and happen at most hotels, but if you don’t give feedback they can’t say they did not know!
http://www.thereserveatparadisus.com/

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank joe_cast_g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementPPRL, General Manager at The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2012

Dear Joe,

I regret that you could not experience a perfect vacation due to some small inconveniences you had encountered during your stay.

I apologize if our dinner reservation system, TV and Internet service, and Concierge department did not meet your expectations. I appreciate your observations in these respects and I have forwarded your comments to the corresponding departments.

In other hand, I would like to thank you for your compliments towards our staff, grounds and facilities.

Sincerely,

Rafael Torres
Managing Director

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