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Hotel The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Bavaro Beach Punta Cana, Dominican Republic -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

A veritable resort, this upmarket paradise certainly wins the award for luxury in Punta Cana! The exclusive section of the Paradisus Palma Real, The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real Resort is set back from the exquisite Bavaro Beach, 10 minutes away, but that's its only flaw (there has to be at least one). Highlights include the spacious, maximum comfort apartments, equipped with a kitchen and a terrace with a whirlpool bath, the superb spa, the fully equipped kids club, the free Internet access, and the gastronomy, with a special mention for the Japanese restaurant. Of course, guests also have access to the facilities at the Paradisus Palma Real.

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    • Hotel The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real

      The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real   -   © Antoine Lorgnier / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real

      The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real   -   © Antoine Lorgnier / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 7.5 /10

    The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real is located in Punta Cana, the country's top tourist destination with 25 miles of beaches, between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the south-east coast of the Dominican Republic. The hotel is slightly set back from Bavaro Beach, 37 miles from the bustling town of Higuey (half an hour), and 3h30m by road from Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana International Airport is just 12 miles from the hotel: allow 20 minutes for transfers.

    Accommodation 9.25 /10

    Full of light and decorated with a large Naive painting, the 190 guest rooms at The Reserve at Paradisus are genuine, spacious apartments (48m²) with a lounge (a sofa with multiple cushions, a desk, a flat-screen television with cable channels, and a DVD player) and a well equipped kitchen (wash basin, sink, coffee machine, and a minibar fridge stocked with crisps, Brugal rum, whisky, vodka, etc.). The rooms have marble floors, rugs, individual air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi Internet access, a free electronic safe large enough to store a laptop, an iron and an ironing board, and beach towels. The bedrooms contain a second television and a comfortable king-size bed with a dozen cushions where guests will sleep like a log! The large terrace is furnished with a round table, an armchair, a sofa, a pouffe with cushions, a coffee table, and four wicker chairs overlooking the garden. Guests can also relax in the large Jacuzzi. Very clean and well decorated with a tropical plant (a bird of paradise) to brighten them up, the Japanese-style bathrooms are separated from the bedrooms by a wooden sliding door. They are equipped with a large hydromassage tub for two, a large tropical shower, separate toilets decorated with a painting, Mugler brand complimentary toiletries, a sponge, a hair-dryer (stored in a bag), a make-up mirror, scales, the essentials for shaving and brushing your teeth, bathrobes, slippers, an umbrella and tissues. Room service is available 24/7.

    Overview 9.00 /10

    Here, there is none of that excessive size that characterises most hotels in Punta Cana, instead the hotel is a friendly size and frankly a nice change! Opened in 2008, The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real is a very upmarket hotel. It is owned by Paradisus Resort, which is part of the Spanish Meliá Hotels chain. The hotel's 190 apartments are located in various beige, 2-storey buildings with no lifts, all spread across the pleasant tropical garden with its mangrove. Vegetation is everywhere: lawns, flower bordered paths, plants, etc. The huge lagoon pool with its waterfalls, hydromassage jets, waterbeds and wooden bridges is the oasis in this paradise. The pool is open from 8:00am to 7:00pm, and features a cold water whirlpool. There is also a large children's swimming pool worthy of an aqua park with its four slides in the shape of a shark, an elephant, a hippopotamus and a boat. Guests can relax on the wicker deckchairs with mattresses in the shade of the beige canvas parasols in this chill out lounge atmosphere. Showers are of course provided, as well as free towels. The more sporty types can head to the large, air-conditioned gym where they can try boxing, spinning and much more. Water, music, television, it's all here!

    Food and drink 9.00 /10

    The main meals are served in buffet form at the Gaby Club under a big palapa (an open-sided thatched hut). Breakfast is served between 7:00am and 11:00am, lunch from12:30pm to 4:00pm, and dinner between 6:30pm and 10:30pm. Breakfast is rather disappointing for a hotel of this quality: the orange juice is not freshly squeezed, the fruit isn't very tasty and the mangu, the local speciality, was cold on our visit. The Hydrogrill serves snacks during the day, and transforms into an American steak house in the evening. Guests can also eat at the Aqua restaurant, which serves Mediterranean cuisine. The best of the best, however, is the Mizu Japanese restaurant: an absolute must! Guests are in for a real show as the Japanese chefs cut up the meat with their sharp knives right in front of your eyes. Those seated around the teppanyaki table (whether they know each other or not) can join in the fun: during the performance, some can trade places with the chef and try to flip the vegetables so that they land, more of less successfully, in their chef hats. You'll feel like you're at a fun dinner party with friends. A good time guaranteed! Also on the menu are sushi and, one of our recommendations, Mamajuana (a local alcohol made from wine, rum, honey and roots). For a pre-dinner drink, head to the H²O bar, where you can order much more than just water!

    Spa 8.0 /10

    Open from 8:00am to 8:00pm, the Yhi Spa is enormous! As soon as you arrive at the reception, an attentive staff member will explain how this beautifully decorated well-being centre works (pools with fish, Buddha statues, wooden bridges and walkways, vegetation, a fountain under a skylight, and more.), in which order to follow the thermal circuit, and when to change activities: first the Turkish bath then the sauna, then the cold plunge, then onto the heated swimming pool with its massaging pressure jets and waterfall, followed by the cold pool and the hot hydromassage tub, before finishing with a walk across the pebbles barefoot. You'll certainly have earned your eucalyptus tea. This whole circuit is free, but the treatments and massages with organic Natura Bissé products (based in Barcelona) or hot stones in one of the twelve dedicated rooms, including two double rooms, are charged extra. The spa also has a beauty salon (manicures, pedicures, facial treatments) and a hairdressers. The changing rooms are separate and bathrobes, towels and slippers are all provided.

    Beach 8.50 /10

    Protected by a coral reef, Bavaro Beach is truly idyllic. It is hard not to be won over by this mile-long beach with its turquoise blue lagoon with 28°C transparent water, fine, white sand as soft as flour, and coconut trees serving as natural parasols! The area reserved for the Paradisus Palma Real complex is 420m long. Neatly lined up away from the water's edge, the Balinese beds with their large mattresses are wide enough for two people. Just like the palm leaf parasols, they melt into the landscape. You won't see any fluorescent blue or yellow here, unlike the other hotels on the coast, where the deckchairs are arranged higgledy-piggledy right up to the water and even in it! The water sports centre on the beach proposes numerous activities from 8:00am to 5:00pm. There is a lifeguard who monitors the bathing area marked out by buoys, and a flag to indicate the safety level. The bar serves a variety of cocktails in an ambiance that is a little too noisy for our tastes (the music is played at full blast). It has to be said that the Gabi Beach Club is an actual nightclub with its own DJs and wild beach parties organised twice a week. A buffet is served during the day, with an à la carte service in the evenings. "Drink, eat, groove": the Gabi Beach Club's motto! A waiter service is provided on the beach, where there are beach volleyball and beach football pitches, as well as thatched-roof massage huts and showers. You will also notice a blue flag, which is an ecological gauge of cleanliness.

    To know

    Free Wi-Fi Internet access is available throughout the hotel, including in the guest rooms. Those without laptops can use one of the six computers available to guests in the lobby. A shuttle bus runs from the hotel to Palma Real Village and its huge shopping centre. Children are particularly pampered at The Reserve at Paradisus, with a baby club and an impressive 725m² kids club: it's a resort within a resort! Included are a swimming pool, a playground, video games (Xbox, Wii, Playstation), computers, televisions with a DVD player, board games (Monopoly, Scrabble, Pictionary, etc.), a trampoline, a flying trapeze, a climbing wall, a special children's shop, a bouncy castle, a ping pong table, table football and even a buffet! The kids club is open from 10:00am to 7:00pm and is reserved for children ages 5 to 12.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, stretching, spa, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, aqua gym, aerobics, beach volley, golf, sailing, kayak, canoe, dance, step, bums and tums, windsurfing, fitness, sports

    • Hairdresser
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Solarium

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    • Overall Score nc/10
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