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Reviewed 17 October 2010

Brilliant resort

Location - Fantastic though we never needed to leave the resort

Grounds - best landscaping I have ever seen. Beautiful tropical plants and palms immaculately maintained, covered walkways to get to lobby, pool etc, train to get round resort if too tired to walk. Loved the decked walkways in Bavaro section over koi ponds with ducks, fish, etc and Flamingo ponds outside palace lobby and huge flamingo / turtle pond at Bavaro Lobby. (we liked the Palace lobby best as open aired centre with garden and fountains provided frsh air and light)
Swimming pools were very nicely landscaped with swim up pool bars. We liked the Palace pool the best so only used that one. Cool large Jacuzzi section.
Beach - pure paradise !

Activities - I think the resort is best for adults - no pool slides or billiards tables or playground in Palace section. Great free wifi in lobby so bring your laptop as they charge $8 per hour to use their pcs. They do have a mini club and junior club (unfortunately on other side of resort) The junior club (12-18 yr olds) was first class with pool table, table tennis, room full of wii stations, playstation 3s and pcs with free internet access and beverage station (our kids decide they would rather not use this facilty though). Well staffed and secure. Mini golf section was plain and worn, tennis courts football pitches well maintained. Archery and rifle shooting fun. Pool and beach games and aerobics every day. Animation team excellent. Evening shows in Bavaro theatre 10pm every night though we never stayed up that late. Snorkelling - nothing to be seen near shore other than sand. You have to book an excursion to get to a reef where there are beautiful tropical fish.
Spa - definately 5 star. Didnt have massages or anything but used the gym, jacuzzi, hydro pool, sauna. Wonderful.

Rooms - we were upgraded to a loft suite which was extremely spacious and a lot lighter than they look in the photos. Awaiting us in the room was a fruit basket and bottle of premium rum : ) Ample storage space, even sofa bed was quite comfy as made up with extra mattress. TV had around 4 US channels including ABC family, so plenty to watch if you stayed in room. Loved the Jacuzzi in centre of room and used this daily. Lovely marble floor tiles, thankfully seperate toilet/shower room with sliding wooden door (some rooms are open concept with only glass 3/4 cubicle door to toilet or shower !) 2 double beds upstairs so my teen girls didnt have t share a bed and had a little privacy. Nice large balcony with pvc opening door (not sliding double doors) mini bar stocked daily with beer and fanta, sprite, coke and water. coffe replenished daily. Robes, slippers provided. Ironing board and iron excellent condition - hairdryer wasnt working but was replaced as soon as reported. Plenty of hot water. We used the whole resort and liked the Palace room buildings the best (other than adult only Royal Suites)

Cleanliness - spotless and well maintained. sheets and towels always clean.

Service - first class everyone from maid, maintenance man to reception staff very friendly and happy looking. Bartenders very friendly. Waiters in restaurants super efficient - you never had an empty glass or dirty plate in front of you.

Bars - amazing variety of cocktails, generous measures of alcohol, some premium spirits Jack Daniels, premium russian Vodka, Barcelo rum. Wonderful cocktail bar in Bavaro section very upper class with as much as you like champagne and fancy coffees with liqueuers loads of beach bars, pool bars all excellent service and the staff did not excpect tips but were grateful if you did tip. They would even turn a fresh coconut into an amazing cocktail if you brought one over to them (the groundsmen would harvest them every day)

Food - Very American but tons of variety. Breakfast buffet fantastic choice everything you could want and more if slightly odd choices - steamed pumpkin and mashed potato ! bakery sections out of this world fresh breads, danish, donuts, croissants, cakes, and churros. Great french toast waffles and pancakes. Some mornings we had bucks fizz as cava and pink cava available (self serve) We tried all the a la carte restuarants and nice food though not spicy like we eat at home. Chinese was not very authentic but food, but restaurant design was extremely authentic modern chines restaurant style. All restaurants designed and themed beautifully with great attention to detail. Japanese restaurant was the best in the show cooking section where the chef prepared steak, chicken and Shrimp with fried rice on a teppan grill ( you have to book this due to popularity) Also loved the Brazilian with all you can eat meat skewers yum ! Only downside was seafood which was all overcooked at every restaurant : ( chewy squid, dry fish and overcooked mussels which were not served with garlic, lemon and butter (the traditional and best way) , but with chopped peppers and onions and sometimes lime - yuk ! no lobster unless you paid $60 per couple for lobster and Chardonnay.
Unfortunately there were no snack bars on the beach so if you wanted lunch you had to shower and dress to go to a restaurant which was quite inconvenient.
Great sports bar in Bavaro section all day food service but only 1 pool table. Food choices here American fried stuff and pizza and salad bar plus you could order food to be cooked for you like philly cheesteak sandwich with fries. Nacho dispenser, popcorn machine hotdog grill, self serve icecream slushies and coffee. Full bar. Huge projection screen showing various sports. Downside of sports bar - Flies.


I would definatley return here and it would be nice on an adult only trip next time staying at the Royal Suites.

Tips for first timers - research the resort it is vast (I did so knew what to expect and was pleased with the choice) take a spanish phrasebook for emergencies, though most bar staff speak some English. Find out which restuarants are opening which evenings. Be prepared for scorching heat and tropical storms changing in an instant. Avoid the Beach seller huts they are very agressive at trying to get you to go into their shop. If you are brave enough to walk past them there is a fixed price boutique that sells everything you could need for souvenirs, etc even Ed Hardy swimwear ! I preferred to use the on site boutique and grocery store which held all well known branded toiletries, US magazines, chocolate bars, snacks and drinks. Book your excursions on the beach - cheaper than on resort and haggle ! Take plenty of US dollars as they prefer this to pesos. Only on ATM in sports bar of resort so make sure you have enough money for tips souvenirs etc. Look out for beautiful wildlife. Butterflies, Dragonflies, Hummingbirds, lizards, geckos, Huge bees and giant moths !

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank magicmouse2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2010

On arrival we where upgraded to the Royal Suites, the rooms are big and very clean. Actually we found the whole resort very clean.
Staff are friendly and helpful,if there is something you aren't happy about just tell someone and they seemed happy to sort it for you.
Lots of places to eat and the food is lovely something for everyone, although we weren't impressed with the seafood restaurant as the fish looked great but was tastless. It may have just been an off day so do try it as other people said they liked there meals. There are plenty of bars with a good selection of branded drink.
The pools are very clean and the beach is amazing.
This holiday was amazing and we cannt wait to go back.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Joanne123London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2010

In May of this year we visited the Palladium Resorts for the for the 7th time in the last 5 years. The service at the Palace is great. We have had 2 out of 3 children married at the resort. Both weddings were awesome. The staff are phenomenal and the beach is what it's all about. Remember that you are traveling to a poor country and that a 4 star resort in the Dominican is not the same as in Canada. Go with and open mind and enjoy the hospitality that is offered by the locals. Remember that you are on vacation so relax and take life as it comes. The Dominicans work hard and are very proud of their heritage. Everything is on Dominican time so relax and and watch the waves roll in. We have tried all of the restaurants and have never been disappointed. Get to know the workers names and they will remember you forever. Use some manners and treat the locals like you want to be treated. We take school supplies, tooth paste, clothes etc for the friends that we have made over the years. There is an elementary school just down the road from the Palace that we visit and donate the school supplies to. There is no safety concern with leaving the resort. We highly recommend the Palladium complex and are booked to return on December 2 of this year. Remember that your not in Canada anymore and accept the slow pace and enjoy.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank AbueloElkford_BC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2010

What promised to be a well planned vacation with 14 friends and family with my new little grandson, kinda went wrong. When we arrived at the Hotel, all in our group were upgraded to the "Adult only section" of the resort. Needless to say, this completely separated the family with a child and put a damper on the rest of the vacation. We did not ask for the upgrade, but received it anyhow. Other than that, the resort is beautiful - both the adult section which is luxurious to the Palace section which is typical of the several resorts that we have stayed in the DR. The entertainment on the beach and around the pool was a plus. (Lisa was a hoot!) The food, which was always plentiful, was some of the best that we have experienced - not everything for everybody, but always something for everyone. The nightly entertainment, which did not start until 9:00 was not the best, but hey, we weren't there for that. We did do a 1/2 day side trip with Punta Cana Mike -- which I would highly recommend. Although this was not our favorite resort of the 3 we have visited, it was still a wonderful vacation - with beautiful surroundings and a beautiful beach.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank ladonnafoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2010

Just returned from two weeks at the Palladium Palace (two married couples) and after having discussed it this is the opinion of all four of us. Brilliant. The hotel is billed as five star and exeeded our expectations. We had Junior Suites with sea view , literrally about 50 or 60 metres from the beach. The rooms, because of the mezzanine style bedroom, are quite spacious and well appointed, and kept spotlessly clean as is the whole resort.
We found the resort staff to be friendly, attentive and very hard working.
Food was of a very high standard even in the buffet restaurants and very varied. Unlimited visits to the a la cartes , as part of the all inclusive package, meant we were able to try them all. The best ones, in our opinion, were the Japanese and the Brazilian.
It is well worth booking for one of the show tables at the Japanese.
An earlier review described the spirits available as "rubbing alcohol" .The drinks available at all the bars ,free of charge, included Bombay Saphire gin, 100 Pipers whisky, Jack Daniels etc. If thats rubbing alcohol, mate, I'd love to know where you normally drink ! Even the soft drinks were real Coca Cola, Pepsi, Fanta and Sprite.
A tip on the bars - try Hemmingways - they have a larger menu of cocktails and even champagne (again part of all inclusive).
We had no downside to our stay however while talking to a very nice Canadian couple, Bernie and Louise, we found that the hotel charges $50 US per day for wheel chair hire.
That is well over the top ! The resort is quite big so if you do have walking difficulties it may be worth considering taking your own chair if you have one.
We would definately have no qualms about returning to the Grand Palladium Palace.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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3  Thank StevieBolton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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