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Our arrival on April 4th was uneventful. We always opt to take the transportation provided with our package. We met a lovely couple travelling to the RST with us that we otherwise might not have met had we taken private transportation. We did have to wait for a no show couple but we enjoyed talking with the other couple so no big deal.
Check-in was great at reception. It was a very friendly atmosphere. Drinks were brought to us by the bar staff and by friends that we had met on previous trips. Our butler was there to take us to our room. Room was what we had booked, a swim up in building #55. It was the perfect location for us. Our friend Melky, prior to her going off duty, made sure we received a warm welcome with welcome signs and balloons in the room. A warm welcome at reception and a warm welcome to our room made for a wonderful start to a wonderful vacation.
The grounds are beautifully landscaped and well maintained. The pool swims up areas are showing some wear and tear. Over the past 10 years we have seen so many changes and constant upgrading of the facilities. The pools someday will need some refurbishing.
Last year we noticed a lot of beach loungers in disrepair. This year we noticed that these have been replaced with new ones. The hammocks are gone. They were starting to look pretty worn last year. The Bali beds are still on the beach. I love them! I hope they are kept and replaced when needed. The availability of shade spots on the beach is based on how busy the resort it at that time or the present clientele. Someone might be there one week and find it absolutely awful while someone the next week might say it was not. In our experience we found one week out of two awful and one not. I like my shade and one week I had to be there by 06:30 while the other week it was still fine at 09:30. Ideally there would be shade for everyone at any time of the day but the beach is only so big. I like the fact that I can still feel the breeze as the beach is not that deep. I noticed new loungers at the pool too or new pads or both.
Butlers..some people we meet say they don’t use their butlers for anything. What a shame. At least get to know them. They have so much to offer. If you don’t have a butler in your building at the time you want something then go to another building just steps away. The butlers provide a very friendly service. They are your go to people. We were so fortunate to have Melky in our building. We have known her for four years and she treats us like family. We also had the opportunity to meet Daniel and Karini who we got to know and were very efficient in their jobs. We met up again with David who we met last year and he went out of his way to make sure we had everything we wanted as did Ronny Avila from front desk management. It is so rewarding when staff can recall you from previous years and call you by your first names. Ronny goes above and beyond for the RST guests as do the butlers in our experience.
Food……oh wow! This has to be the number two reason why we keep returning to the Palladium. Number one reason is the management and their staff. Now remember we started out 10 years ago at the Bavaro section. We are comfortable with “travelling” the whole resort. We actually enjoy the dining experience in the a la cartes in the Bavaro section the most. I know guests that are content to eat only at the two a la cartes at the RST which speaks volumes for those two a la cartes alone. My husband and I enjoy taking advantage of the many a la cartes. We too have formed our favorites over the ten years of our eight visits. The Bamboo-Asian comes in at number one followed closely by the Tapeo-Spanish. The Japanese cook show is also an awesome meal and greatly enjoyed with a crowd of returnees this year. The Mare Nostrum was excellent. La Parrilla-steak house was excellent for my husband but not for me. The Chef Raffaele-Italian was also split with one of two entrees being good. We had three dinners at the RST in our two weeks and they were inconsistent. We had five dinners at the Bamoo and Tapeo a la cartes and they were bang on every time! We varied our lunches a lot with lunch at the Royal Gourmet coming out on top. The dining off of the menu was spot on. Gourmet all the way! I didn’t think I would want to “dine” at lunch time but got spoiled and will take advantage of this lunch spot next year early in our vacation. We also had lunches at the beach restaurant Bohio, the Punta Cana A/C buffet and pizzas on the beach and enjoyed them all. Love that the Bohio has the Panini station now. Breakfast was always at the Royal Gourmet except one morning we walked to the Catedral at the Bavaro section to see the new renovations. Wow! What a state of art buffet. Beautiful dining here for a buffet. I would like to see the Royal Gourmet take on some of the ambiance of the new buffet. The la cartes have been beautifully done over too with very nice outside dining options. Our friend Miguel Camarero still works at the Tapeo and always entertains us. He introduced us to his Jefers. They are very professional and really care that their guests have the best dining experiences possible.
Hemingway---very special place to have top shelf drinks. My friend Luis remembered me from last year and made my special to order cocktail-- Bailey’s Banana Liqueur Colada. So yummy! The RST lobby also offered excellent drinks.
I love this big resort. My husband and I feel it has so much to offer. There are such a variety of excellent eating venues and bars. We could never be bored here. The staff is so friendly. The beach is so beautiful and walkable with no rocks. The resort is constantly upgrading. Some areas are worn but are on the agenda for future renos.
A special shout out to our friends that we have made over the past four years. We are the Happy Hour Gang and are growing in size! Looking forward to rebooking the RST for next year.
Life is Good!