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Reviewed 2 October 2019

Save your money and your stomach - I would not recommend the Paradisus Palma Real to anyone. My husband and I almost aborted this trip twice throughout the week but decided to stick it out (mostly due to the exorbitant cost of changing our plane tickets).
Let me start by saying that we’ve stayed at a Melia Paradisus property in Mexico twice before, and were blown away by the impeccable service, friendly staff, beautiful grounds, great food, updated rooms, and lively activities there. I couldn’t even believe that the Palma Real is part of the same company.
My husband and I had originally booked this trip with accommodations at the Paradisus Punta Cana (sister resort), but a week before our trip, Melia emailed us and said that they were moving us over to the Palma Real. Supposedly, a neighboring resort was starting construction and they assured us that this was to make sure the noise wasn’t disruptive to us. In hindsight, I have to wonder if it was just a ruse to fill the Palma Real with bodies.
We stayed at the Palma Real from a Sunday – Saturday (6 days). We sprang for the Royal Service upgrade, which included a butler, access to a private lounge, private pool, and a private beach area, among other perks.
At first glance, the hotel was fine. The reception at the private Royal Service lounge was great – they had snacks and drinks set out, and greeted us with a cocktail and cool towels to refresh ourselves.
The moment we were shown to our room, however, it was a completely different experience. A very strong damp, musty, wet basement smell hit us in the face. We had hoped that opening the slider would air out the smell so we didn’t say anything at the time, but that effort proved fruitless. Clearly the AC/air purifying system does not function well. The door to our room didn’t even lock properly, and we had to slam it hard to double-check that it locked, which I’m sure was a nuisance to other guests. The room itself was pretty run-down and outdated, and whoever designed the bathroom to have a clear glass door to the toilet (with a door that doesn’t reach to the floor or up to the ceiling).
The first night we had drinks at the bar, and subsequently ended up vomiting (at the exact same time) after about 3 drinks each. The booze is clearly watered down and cheap. Perhaps the ice cubes made us sick, or it was the alcohol itself, but we do not typically get sick at home in the States after just a few (weak) drinks. After that, our stomach problems started. No matter what we ate or drank (or even whether we didn’t drink alcohol), we were sick for days. At one point I had to run off the beach back to our room to avoid vomiting in the sand.
The food options were very limited and not fresh (with flies all over it), and it’s clearly not cold enough in the room for the food. The meats and cheeses were sweaty and the sushi was warm. The majority of the restaurants ended up being closed due to so few people being at the resort. That often meant that only the buffet was open, with the same foods recycled from lunch to dinner. We also couldn’t find anything open after 9pm, so we had no options for a late-night snack (and that’s not even very late). Wednesday night we ate dinner at Rare and both of us ordered the chicken. I couldn’t eat more than half of mine because it was pink and clearly undercooked. I had to spend all of Thursday and Friday morning close to the bathroom after that.
We had reservations at Passion restaurant but were turned away at the door because my husband was unaware of the dress code that requires only dress pants and no open-toed shoes. We were supposed to receive a full (free) meal as part of a promotion we received when booking our trip, but sadly were not able to take advantage of it. It would have been nice if we had the information prior.
Housekeeping was awful – when they “cleaned” the room, they consistently failed to remove the dirty towels and replace them with clean ones. In fact, one day when I thought they had brought fresh towels and reached for one after my shower, I discovered it was in fact my wet towel from my previous shower, just folded to look like it was a new one. They merely flushed the toilet rather than using any cleaning supplies on it (I know this because I was there when the maid came in). I had to text our butler to ask for the toilet paper supply to be replenished. I also requested on or about the third day that that fresh sheets be put on the bed because the bed was becoming increasingly damp and disgusting to sleep in (it was clear they hadn’t changed the sheets yet). A housekeeper knocked on the door, handed me two sheets for me to change and promptly left rather than changing our sheets and blankets.
Housekeeping staff was also consistently yelling to each other in the halls, which is what we woke up to most mornings. Again, I get that at home from my kids; not what I expect on a relaxing vacation.
Our butler, Armando, was great. He was very attentive and available to text through WhatsApp. He even arranged for a special dessert and wine in our room for us when I mentioned the trip coincided with our 5-year anniversary. He secured palapas by the pool for us as well. He did an outstanding job and if there is anything positive it was him and the seating staff at the Buffett.
The first evening we arrived, we walked down to the water to stick our toes in and were sad to discover an abundance of trash and seaweed in the water. The next day there were so many ‘vendors’ and beggers bothering us on the hotel beach grounds (including on the private Royal Service beach) that we gave up and spent most of our time by the pool instead - we never even went for a swim in the ocean (which is sad, because my husband and I plan trips because of the beautiful water). Unfortunetly it continued on the hotel grounds where vendors are set up all over the place and bother you through out the day to buy excursions or photos from them.They continuously tried to sell us things and do not let up no matter where you are. In comparison, the Paradisus Playa del Carmen in Mexico had staff on hand to security posted and we were never bothered once on hotel grounds. Not so in Punta Cana – they were approaching people as they walked out of the water after a swim. Again, I paid too much money to have to deal with that. I was also very surprised to see that no staff members came out to the beach to ask if we wanted food/drinks (they were very attentive in Mexico); the Royal Service package specifically advertises this perk. We probably could’ve texted our butler, but we also didn’t want to be glued to our phones on vacation.
To avoid being on the beach with the vendors/beggars, we tried the large pool that’s available to all guests. Since there were no activities (DJ, etc.), quite a few guests brought their own wireless speakers to the pool and were blasting their own music all at the same time. Not relaxing. After that we didn’t bother with the big pool. .
There were very few activities going on at the hotel in the evenings as well. I assume that’s because it’s low season (September). Still, I was expecting more. We were in bed with a book by 9-10pm every night just because there was absolutely nothing to do, and we didn’t want to have more than 1 tainted drink at the bar. My husband and I are in our mid-30’s - we like going out in the evenings while we’re on vacation and don’t have to worry about our kids.
The staff also kept hounding us (following us down the halls and yelling for our attention) to go listen to their timeshare spiel, and it just got to the point where they were rude about it when we repeatedly said no. Again, we waited all year for this trip and expected to be able to relax and not be pressured into anything. They constantly would follow you around asking about their "special promotion", you would have to avoid so many places through out the hotel due to this and the "vendors". It was just so, so disappointing. I couldn’t wait to go home after about 2 days, and I’ve never felt that way about a vacation before. Do not waste your money at this resort.
We were going to make a complaint or talk to our butler about the issues, but after speaking to quite a few other couples that where having the same issues (Damp rooms/beds, constantly being harassed about timeshares and by vendors, and being sick). It wasn't just us. He was doing a great job, and we felt that these issues were out of his control, and more about the management and how the hotel was run.
The only good thing about our trip were the two excursions we booked and were thankfully able to attend once our stomachs settled temporarily. We booked those separate from the resort. If you decide to still visit Punta Cana, I highly recommend Happy Fish Catamaran excursions – they were great. Just don’t bother with the Palma Real for your accommodations.

Date of stay: September 2019
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Pofry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CMMelia, Gerente at Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 10 October 2019

Dear Pofry,

We sincerely regret that we couldn’t met your expectations. Regarding the room assigned, please allow us to comment that due to our tropical weather, humidity levels are high; therefore, we recommend our guests to keep the air conditioning on. Nevertheless, whenever we receive a report of this nature, we do our best by changing the room or placing a dehumidifier in the room.

Please excuse the inconvenience reported in your room. We handle quality controls that ensure our guests enjoy optimal facilities, and we can ensure that your experience is not our standard. We will share your report with the departments involved and work to prevent a similar situation.


We regret to notice that you get sick during your stay and we hope you are fully recovered to date. Sometimes the change of climate and gastronomy can interfere with our state of health.
Please allow us to highlight that the safety and well- being of our guests is our priority. We are certified by Cristal International Standards. This certification ensures compliance with the highest quality and safety standards worldwide. We follow strict hygienic procedures in the management and preparation of food and beverages. All of the water we use either for drinks, food, ice, and so on, is purified.


All our dishes are fresh cooked for every meal time, with fresh ingredient. We lament that you get that impression of the quality of our food. Be assured that we’ll share your concerns with the corresponding departments. They will take the necessary measures, in order to prevent similar situations.


Allow us to explain you, as we’re a family business we care about the environment and the resources for future generations. Please help us maintain and preserve the ecosystem and wonders of this unique land by not wasting water unnecessarily. Should you wish to have your towels laundered, please leave them on the floor for your chambermaid. If you leave them on the rack they don’t will change them. We apologize for the misunderstanding.

We are also sorry for the situation you went through with the Vacation Club. Attending to the presentation is optional to guests and those who choose to attend can leave the presentation at any moment. We will follow up your comments with the club team, to ensure our guests receive the best treatment at all times.

We are sorry for the discomfort the souvenir vendors may have caused you. You should know that the beaches at the Dominican Republic are public by constitution, but they are not allowed to enter to the hotel property, that’s why we have security all. We will review your remarks with them, and ensure this is addressed as soon as possible, to prevent a similar situation.

We reiterate our excuses and we sincerely hope that you will give us a new opportunity to receive you and we will offer you the unforgettable vacations that you deserve.

Saludos cordiales,
Guest Service Center Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2019

This is our second trip to Palma Real and our third to the Melia Paradisus chain in PUJ. I have read some interesting reviews the past 6 months that had me concerned about this trip. This place is fantastic. We are traveling with 3 children ages 1-10 and with another family of similarly aged children. We have a 2BR Master suite. It's spacious, clean and we fell very safe. The kids are having a blast, the food at the buffet has been of good quality and variety. We have reservations at 3 additional restaurants and there are nightly shows at 9pm at or near the Olympic Theater (download the app when you get here for all activity information). This is the off-season, so yes, it's not busy... we are being well taken care of and it's great having free reign at the pool and beach and not having to rush out at 7am to get seats each day. The staff has been engaging and polite. We are very pleased with everything and will definitely come back again in the future.

Room tip: Villa 10 is a short walk to the beach.
Date of stay: September 2019
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Rob E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CMMelia, Gerente at Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 October 2019

Dear Rob,

Thank you very much for visiting Paradisus by Melia Palma Real once again and for recommending us. It's great that you had an awesome time at our resort and enjoyed our cleanliness the food, shows, pool area and the excellent service you received.

We look forward to welcome you back to your home, far from home.

Best wishes,
Guest Service Center Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2019 via mobile

Went there for my wife's bday . We got a royal suite . The service was excellent we couldn't ask for more . The food was excellent . Even though it rained 2 of the 3 days that were there we had a great time at this resort . Our buttler Francis Newton was the best buttler ever . I told him it was my wife's bday and he went out of his way to make a special bday . He put balloons in the room , in the jacuzzi he filled it up with bubbles and put a bottle of sparkling wine . Also a bday cake .....Thank You Francis Newton for making everything so special . We will definetely go back again..☺

Date of stay: September 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank elcallao05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CMMelia, Gerente at Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2019

Dear El Callao,

Thank you very much for sharing your lovely experience with us. We're glade that you had a great time, and that the rainy weather didn't dampen your vacations. It's awesome that your buttler Francis, did such a great work and could surprise you every dary anew. Be assured that we'll shareyour words with him.

We look forward to welcome you back.

Kind regards
Guest Service Center Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2019

The buffet , was just regular , rooms , a little old fashion , and not activities at night , most restaurant where closed, as it was low season , hotel was really empty , but need to concentrate in the people is there , casuse then if you close all and low the quality even those one will not come back.

Date of stay: September 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Meliá Hotels International
Thank GoPlaces597089
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CMMelia, Gerente at Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2019

Dear GoPlaces,

Thank you for your honest feedback. We appologize that we couldn't met your expectations this time.
We consider the comment of our guests important, because they're helpful for a continuous improvement; even more if they show as the opportunity areas which we have to approach. Be assured that we will share your comments with the corresponding departments and they will take the necessary measures.

We regret your impression, because our quality standard will remain high, it doesn't depend from the occupancy rate.

It was a pleasure to host you and we hope to get the opportunity to welcom you again.

Kind regards
Guest Service Center Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2019

Sorry it took so long, but I was there at the end of June in the Royal Service. Our butler Averado was great and made sure everything was taken care of, from our luggage to our dinner reservations. Wanda and Wilifredo at the Sunset Bar provided excellent customer service and Pedro and Luis took good care of us on the beach. Nixon at Gabi Beach got the part started. The housekeepers did a fantastic job as well. Also, a special thanks to PC Mike for getting us there and back.

Date of stay: June 2019
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Matthew K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CMMelia, Gerente at Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2019

Dear Matthew,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your beautiful experience with us and the Tripadvisor community.
It's great to realize that you had an amazing time at our facilities, with and gentle and professional service. Be assured that we will share you words with all of them, speacily with Nixon, Averado, Wanda, Wilfredo, Pedro. Mike and Luis, they will be happy to get your impressions of their service.

We look forward to welcome back.

Kind regards
Guest Service Center Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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