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Our best visit yet Sept 28th-12th Oct 2013

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Picklepest
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:15 pm
Location: Coventry England
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Our best visit yet Sept 28th-12th Oct 2013

Post by Picklepest » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:27 pm

We returned to the Grand Palladium hotel for our 4th visit from 28th September to the 12th October 2013. We arrived mid afternoon and were upgraded to the Royal Suites section and a small cart transported us and our luggage to the Royal Suites rooms.Check in was simple and easy and took only a few minutes. We were given a map of the complex even though we know all areas well and were also given room cards to be able to access our rooms.The cards are credit card sized and are programmed to only open your door. A smiling bell boy escorted us to our room and on entering our second floor room was one of WOW. The room itself was very spacious and immaculately clean and had everything you need to make your stay comfortable.We were initially in building 55 room 22 and due to my husbands poor health we ventured to reception the next day to request a ground floor room as he found the stairs a little too much to climb although they are not excessive. As we also wished to remain near our family members who had accompanied us the hotel could not accommodate our request immediately but within the next 24 hours they endeavoured to find us to let us know a room had become available.Again a smiling bell boy came to collect our cases and helped assist us to our ground floor room and yet again our reaction was WOW. We had been allocated a swim up room in building 53 room 08 and it was superb from the moment we walked in. The room itself had everything that was required during our stay.Within teh Royal Suites you are allocated a butler who will organise restuarant bookings and help you resolve any issues should they arise. We found the butler to be a great touch and took the hassle out of organising anything.
Facilities in room
Twin sinks, jetted large bath,walk in shower, separate wc, safety deposit,iron and ironing board, umbrella, tea & coffee facilities, wine fridge with wine ( wine is chargeable) 4 bottles of spirits (rum,whiskey,vodka and gin) of which you are entitled to drink one bottle a week.Also a fridge containing bottle and can lagers, Coke, Diet Coke,Fanta,water and nuts and crackers.There was also an ice bucket and all essentials you would need to make your own drinks in the comfort of your room. An ice machine to fill the ice bucket was located just along the short corridor, Within the bathroom area was bathing products such as shampoo,conditioner,shower gel,razor,toothbrushes,face cloths,soap bars and cotton buds. Dont worry about bringing towels either as they supplied all that you would need.A hair dryer was located on the wall and there was ample mirror areas as well as a lighted mirror if needed. The maid had decorated the area with beautiful flowers which made the initial impact even more amazing.
There was a large closet with clothes hangers and shelves which can house a good amount of clothing.A laundry service is available should you require clothes to be cleaned and is at a small extra cost.
The main section of our room had a beautiful super king sized bed with four poster and drapes. The mattress is memory foam and was so comfortable that we slept very well every night of our vacation. There were adequate pillows which we found suitable for our needs but a pillow menu is in your room where you can request personal preferences such as feather or memory foam pillows. There is a good sized dresser with drawer space and mirror and a DVD player with a wall mounted TV above. DVD's are available to watch should you wish to stay in your room. The rest of the room contained a double couch with cushions and two comfy chairs. On pulling open the net curtains and blackout drapes we definitely were impressed. Our patio doors opened immediately onto a decked area which had two lovely reclining chairs and a small table. Immediately beyond this was a small step down into the shallow part of the pool and further steps and hand rail down into the deeper part.Also situated in the shallow section are two sunbeds that you can leave partly submerged in the water and laze on them all day long. The water is not too deep and is totally manageable by most people.The pool was cleaned each day and we often saw staff checking the water quality which we found very reassuring. During the day if we did not want to move that was not a problem as a member of bar staff would walk round constantly asking if you required drinks and would also bring food round in case you were hungry.Not more than 1 minute walk from our pool was the Royal Suites bar and also situated there was a towel hut where you could get as many blue pool towels as you needed ( so leave your towels at home again) The bar served hot and cold drinks and there was also a fridge that contained sandwiches and wraps in case you needed food. Also available was a cabinet that contained pastries and cakes for those with a sweet tooth. There are outside showers should you need to rinse off at anytime and also toilets that were extremely clean for guest use.
Dining
For breakfast each day we dined in the buffet opposite the Palace reception and the amount of choices available was very good indeed. You can have any item you want and also have specific dishes cooked fresh such as pancakes & omelettes or choose what is kept in hot containers already prepared. Toast, yoghurt, cereals and fruits are in ample supply and should satisfy any hungry person. Lunchtimes we would either eat at the same buffet or get a cart or catch the train to the sports bar opposite the Bavaro reception. Food available there included burgers,hot dogs, fries, toasted sandwhiches, salad, tortilla chips with melted cheese, fried chicken etc. I found a lovely toasted steak and cheese sandwich and the taste was awesome. The Sports bar also served ice cream and alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks 24 hours a day.There are a few shops located just by the sports bar where you can purchase items that you may have forgotten or need.
Evening dining was were we felt spoilt for choice. We dined twice at the Tepenyaki where a chef provides you with show case cooking. Its a very entertaining and fun evening and the food was delicious.Also available there was A La Carte dining or a Sushi bar..so take your pick of which you want. As a Royal Suite guest you get preferential booking over other guests which is a great advantage. We also tried La Chantarelle and the food was the best we ate. We tried the Chateau Briande on our first visit and its was so good we decided to go again. This time i had rack of lamb and again the taste was delicious. Opposite La Chantarelle is the Royal Gormet which is only open to Royal Suite guests and the food selection there was also very good.We tried ribs and steaks on our visits and its beautifully presented and nice and hot.Lobster is also on the menu at no extra charge to Royal Suite guests...oh and i should mention champagne is also available at no extra charge :)
We did not try other restaurants but our family did and reported that the steakhouse was again of high quality and very tasty.
The Grounds
These are kept immaculate and you often see the staff working throughout the day to keep it this way. Palm trees are dotted throughout the complex and there are many types of flora that very often have the names placed there so you know what they are. We also spotted peacocks wandering the grounds along with ducks and other water birds. The pathways are predominately covered so that if you need to escape the hot sun or a rain shower you are able to.During the day you would often see grounds people up palm trees chopping and pruning and if you asked they would cut you a fresh coconut so you could savour the milk inside.We then used the coconut to pour our alcoholic drinks into. The grounds are extensive and it is worth riding the mini train around the whole complex to help you fully see the beauty and the facilites of this resort.
Other facilities
There is an on site Spa that has some things included in the price you have paid..additional costs are incurred by massages and specialist treatments. There is also a good equipped gym that you can access during the day. Take a train ride towards the Bavaro resort and there are more activites to be found such as football pitch, tennis courts, bicycles, mini golf and archery among other things.
There are two theatres which have nightly shows commencing at 10pm and they are good to go and watch. The staff work so hard to ensure that you enjoy watching and also at times encourage audience participation. If after the show you want to dance then the disco is available until the early hours ( situated near Bavaro looby). You will also find evening entertainment is available in the lobby areas of the hotels and it is predominately live music and dancing.Each lobby has bar facilities and internet available. If you have taken your own laptop then internet access is free. If you use the computers that are there then there is a charge which is not too expensive.
Pools
We spent time in the Royal main pool, the Palace pool and the Punta Cana pools. Each pool is presented differently to each other and gives a variety of sounds and experiences. If you want a more lively area then head to the Palace or Punta Cana pools, if you want a more relaxed adult only experience then stay at the Royal Pool.Some guests do reserve sunbeds all day with towels and this i find a little tiresome when they have no intention of using the sunbed.
The beach
As always the beach was awesome and we always managed to find a few empty sunbeds.The sea is at times a little strong with its current and the sand does incline quickly as you go further into the water.The sand is a beautiful pale shade and is soft under foot. Turn right on exiting the hotel and there are some local huts on the beach that sell local art and craft items. Be prepared to haggle and also enjoy the experience of bartering with locals and learning about the Dominican way of life.
Bars
Well, where do you want a drink? There are so many bars that you should never go thirsty.The alcohol is predominately locally produced spirits and lagers and for anyone reading other reviews about it being weak....Dont believe it..a few too many times we staggered back to our room.If you want premium brands then a quick visit to Hemmingways bar is probably more suited to you.I found locally produced alcohol was more than adequate and its always good to support the economy.
Extras
We were lucky enough to attend the Palladium Addicts Fiesta party and all i can say is Thank you to each and every person who was involved in organising and putting together the whole event. I found Octavio who personally met us to be a very friendly approachable gentleman who ensures you are happy with all that the hotel offers.The rest of the staff work so hard to make sure you fully enjoy your stay. We found language was not a barrier at all and had no problems with any staff members...in fact we were recognised by staff who we have met on previous visits still recognised us even though its been 3 years since our last visit. We cant thank Francis and Margharita enough for giving us the best return welcome we could have received and are pleased to say we have already booked to go back next September to see you all again.
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1st visit Punta Cana 2008
2nd visit Punta Cana 2010
3rd visit Punta Cana 2013
4th visit Punta Cana 2014
5th visit Punta Cana 2015
6th visit Punta Cana 2016
7th visit Punta Cana 2017

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