Saturday, June 8, 2013

Paradisus Palma Real in the Dominican Republic

In February, M and I took a winter trip during my break from school to the Paradisus Palma Real in the Dominican Republic.  I know when we were looking, I did a ton of research and read reviews online, so I figured maybe my review could help someone else planning a trip. We chose the Paradisus based on weather, price, distance (and non-stop flight option), and golf/other activities.  We wanted a trip for 5 days, 4 nights (so Mike didn't miss too much work), and were able to get to the Dominican in a relatively short flight.  

When we arrived in the lobby, this is the view:

You can actually see the beach and ocean the moment you step foot into lobby area.  Getting our room situated took about 45 minutes, as there was some confusion about when it would be ready.  We were told to head down to the bar/buffet and grab something to eat while we waited (it's all inclusive).  It wasn't that big of a deal, but a little bit of a hiccup because all I wanted to do was change into my bathing suit and get to the beach.

When we got to our room, we were very impressed by the size, layout, decor, and amenities.  It had a sitting room and kitchenette area when you first walked in (excuse our bags everywhere, I should have snapped the picture before unloading everything on the table!).

Then an over sized bathroom with sink, shower, toilet...and then ANOTHER large bathroom with double sinks, a soaking tub, and closet.

The room worked out great, because we felt like even during moments back in the room, when we pulled ourselves off of the beautiful Bavaro Beach, we were still able to relax and enjoy feeling like we were in a tropical oasis.

The Paradisus had everything you would need on site, restaurants, bars, activities, pools, workout room, shopping, and more.  While walking around the property, everything seemed very clean and atheistically pleasant.  I loved the flamingos that perched in the pond, and watched them while working out in the exercise room too.

We are pretty active and knew we would want a little more, so we chose the Paradisus because they also have golf courses that are just a short shuttle ride away.  We visited the Cocotal Golf and Country Club two times together, and M went solo as well.

Mike also went to the Jack Nicklaus's Cap Cana, Punta Espada, which looked amazing based on the pictures he took during his round.

One thing that was a little less than stellar during our trip was dining.  The food was actually very good, but getting reservations in restaurants for dinner proved to be quite challenging.  It seemed that because there were different levels of "all inclusiveness", the color of your bracelet determined the amount of pull you had when making reservations.  We are pretty easy going and dealt with it, but if you were with a group, or were more concerned with nice dining, it could get pretty frustrating.  One great thing about the food, however, was all inclusive room service which we took full advantage of:

Throughout out our stay, we were pretty get up and go...seeing sunrises, eating breakfast insanely early, getting in golf or a workout, and getting to the beach or pool with plenty of time to enjoy the sunshine.  

We also took a trip to the shopping on site, and walked down the beach to see other resorts and local beach huts selling goods.  We ate lunches at the buffet mostly, and enjoyed dinner relatively early, which allowed us to get into restaurants even without a reservation.

All in all, it was a great trip, where we were able to relax and have fun doing the things we love to do.  The weather was perfect, and everything on site was relatively easy (aside from dinner reservations) and smooth.  I'm not sure that we would go back to this resort, only because we felt like we saw and did everything possible there, and if we went to the Dominican again, we might want a new resort to explore.

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