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I sent our room request in one week before our trip and received a quick reply from Dionisio regarding my concerns about our room category. All of our requests were met and as we were checking in, Dionisio made a point to walk over and introduce himself to me. It’s that kind of personal service that makes me feel at home when I’m at the Palladium. Our rooms were located in the older section near the beach and we received two first floor rooms which have King beds and the other room in our group received a 2nd floor because those have double beds.
We loved the location of our room in building 50 and it had everything we could have needed. I’m not a huge fan of the open bathroom design but we managed to make it work. Our room was cleaned promptly every morning and toiletries/towels were replaced frequently as needed. I thought the mattress was plenty comfortable enough but I didn’t like the pillows and we waited longer than we should have to ask for better ones. Once we did, Charlie (who was sharing butler duties in our building with the infamous King Kong) had two memory foam pillows delivered and they did the trick! The only negative I can say about this building and our room would be about the proximity to the secret pool. On one hand, YAY it’s close to the secret pool – on the other hand, it’s CLOSE TO THE SECRET POOL and that pool is not so secret and definitely not very quiet at night up until midnight, after that it’s fine.
We most breakfasts on the beach side patio of Bohio and always enjoyed the meals. The food was good and the atmosphere perfect. There was always a nice breeze blowing and I enjoyed the view as well. We dined as a group at Trattoria and La Parilla. We all loved Trattoria and we were so full that we even turned down dessert. Unfortunately, pretty much the exact opposite could be said about La Parilla. I don’t think any of us cared much for our steaks, they were very fatty and not very hot. The best part of that meal for me was the appetizer of avocado fusion, it was really tasty and I could have made a meal of that. We did all order dessert but we also all left dessert on our plates. Our sons dined at Japanese Teppanyaki show table and they all agreed that it was fun and tasty. The Royal Gourmet was hit and miss, sometimes delicious and sometimes just okay but never bad. The had a great selection of salad greens but the only dressing available was either plain mayonnaise or different oils. It would be great if some of the buffet salad dressing varieties were added there. Don’t miss the chocolate night at Hemingway’s but if you do and you’re staying RST, they set up the same treats in the Royal lobby on Friday. I’m a chocolate freak and these desserts were scrumptious!! Now, I’m going to add the two places that I would vote for best (and most surprising) food. This is probably going to tell you what a simpleton I am but… drumroll please… The Royal BBQ by the pool has the most amazing hamburgers and most of our group had them for lunch every day. My son liked the hotdogs also but I’m picky about my dogs so I skipped those. Last, but most certainly not least is the Healthy Habits café at the spa. If I wasn’t having lunch at the Royal pool, I was having it at the spa while relaxing on a comfortable round bali bed… and sometimes I was just having 2nd lunch at the spa. LOL. Great smoothies/juice drinks and every day they had veggies and different flavors of hummus as well as fruit kabobs, fruit cups, veggie or turkey wraps and bagel sandwiches. The bagel sandwiches were ham, salmon, or chicken and I’ve never tasted a softer, fresher bagel in my life. There were also some freshly made energy bars, nuts and raisins as well as fresh fruit. LOVED it!!! Miss it!!
Beach/Pool: WOW is about all I can say. It truly is beautiful and as everyone has already noted, there are no rocks. I’m really not sure that I like that better than Riviera Maya though. We only saw two fish the entire trip but we didn’t go very far out and only ventured from the Royal beach once. That trip ended in a quick sunburn so remember folks, BLOCK UP. I love how easy it is to find a shady spot to sit in whether you’re going to the beach or the pool. We mostly used the Royal pool and beach and never had trouble getting a spot. I even enjoyed the use of a beach-front Bali bed one day but I was up pretty early for that one. I didn’t bring a pool float because I thought they had some available in the Royal section but I never saw any. I think those might only be available in the newer swim-up section so I do wish I had brought a noodle or something.
Staff: I’ll be honest, I was a little worried. I’d heard that the service was lacking here and even seen a couple of comments about staff being downright rude. I can honestly say that we had the exact opposite experience. We experienced only friendly smiles and faces everywhere and everyone was so helpful. I noticed that more people there understood English and that was helpful to me because I still haven’t been able to get a grasp on Spanish.
In closing, I want to add that this was our first trip to Punta Cana and I’m so glad we went. There’s many things I like about PC better than I do RM but there’s also many things I like about RM better than PC so now my future vacation decisions will be more difficult! That being said, we’ll definitely be returning to Punta Cana. Last note, if you’re planning a trip and there’s other addicts going to be there at the same time, try to meet up with them. I’ve made several great friendships by doing this and this trip was no exception.