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Planning a trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic? Looking for a tropical luxury resort? If you’re trying to decide between the Paradisus Punta Cana and Paradisus Palma Real, how the heck do you choose? And then, once you’ve decided, what section suits your needs?
Just FYI: This post was first written in 2015 and updated in 2019 with tons of new info.
The new Grand Reserve
New for 2019: There’s a major update at Paradisus Palma Real. The new Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real has officially opened. When I asked the peeps at Paradisus how it differs from the regular upscale Reserve, the reply was that “this is the luxe of the luxe.”
The Grand Reserve is not directly beachside, but has all the beach access of the Paradisus Palma Real, plus its own snazzy beach club. Its inclusive circular design, a symbol of ‘perfection and wholeness’ is aiming to be the most luxurious experience in Punta Cana. You can read more about the Grand Reserve below.
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that I’ll make a small commission (like really small) if you click through and purchase anything – at no additional cost to you.
Paradisus Palma Real or Paradisus Punta Cana?
Note: I was a guest of the Melia Hotel Group.
It took me four days on the Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic just to figure out which designer cocktail to order, much less sort out the difference between the Standard section, Royal Service, Family Concierge and the Reserve at the two Paradisus Punta Cana resorts. But now that I’ve got it straight, let me guide you.
Because it’s hard to know where to go until you’ve already been there, right?
Let’s start with the basics. Where is Punta Cana?
Punta Cana is in the Dominican Republic. Yes, yes, I know you’re snorting dismissively but let me tell you how many travel ads I’ve seen that speak glowingly of luxury resorts and coconuts and palm trees, but don’t mention where Punta Cana actually is.
Let me also tell you there are a lot of people out there googling “What country is Punta Cana in?”
Bávaro Beach, recognized by UNESCO
Punta Cana is on the east coast of the Dominican Republic and both the Paradisus Palma Real and Paradisus Punta Cana are located here, in the popular beach area of Bávaro, which is recognized as one of the best beaches in the world by UNESCO.
Both resorts are less than 30 minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport. Yet the tone of the two resorts are as different as an emerald-cut diamond and a radiant one.
What is the difference between the Paradisus Punta Cana and Paradisus Palma Real?
So glad you asked. The Paradisus Palma Real is sleek, sexy, upbeat and lively. The Paradisus Punta Cana feels a little more laid back, more garden-y, a little more in touch with nature. The new Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real has definitely upped its game.
You can see the difference between the two luxury DR resorts in the art: At the Paradisus Palma Real the sculptures tend towards bold and contemporary while the art at the Paradisus Punta Cana has a more indigenous local feel (excluding that crazy herd of sheep by the lounge).
Extremely important: Both the Paradisus Punta Cana and Paradisus Palma Real have resident pink flamingos. I just thought you should know.
Which is better, the Paradisus Punta Cana or Paradisus Palma Real?
Both have their fans, and they’re split pretty evenly. While the Paradisus Punta Cana and Paradisus Palma Real have similar concepts, the Paradisus Palma Real is very stylish, with a centrepiece lobby courtyard transformed by coloured lights at night.
The Paradisus Punta Cana has a more nestled-in feel as if it grew naturally out of the tropical forest.
The beach at the Paradisus Punta Cana
The Paradisus Punta Cana resort’s beach is narrower than the Palma Real’s, the sand is divine, the waves look bigger and the water so translucent it looks like a big vat of turquoise jelly.
The beach at the Paradisus Palma Real
The Paradisus Palma Real’s beach is wide as wide can be, with the softest soft sand, and I whiled away as many hours in a deck chair here as I could. (I also kayaked, as non-motorized sports are included, but not for long because I’m lazy.)
That said, the water at the Paradisus Palma Real didn’t seem as clear as at the Paradisus Punta Cana and there seemed to be more seaweed washing up on shore. The staff at both of the top all-inclusive resorts work hard to keep the seaweed at bay.
Worried about seaweed? Check out Punta Cana seaweed conditions.
Paradisus Punta Cana and Paradisus Palma Real: What section do you choose?
I’ll focus on Paradisus Palma Real in particular, though both resorts have Standard, Royal, Reserve sections, while the Palma Real has the addition of the Grand Reserve. In the Paradisus Punta Cana the Family Concierge is located within the Reserve, while it’s separate at the Palma Real.
But let’s get this straight. You could choose the standard section at either resort and be perfectly happy because both of these Dominican Republic resorts are 5-star all-inclusives – Paradisus is the luxury brand of Meliá Hotels International.
However, if you want to bump up your Caribbean luxury vacation with … more luxury, you need to choose between Royal, the Reserve and the Grand Reserve. Decisions, decisions.
The Reserve Beach Rooms at Paradisus Palma Real
The Reserve Beach Rooms are part of The Reserve inventory with full access to The Reserve and the main property in Paradisus Palma Real. The difference is that they’re closer to the beach.
I stayed in one of The Reserve Beach Luxury Category rooms and enjoyed the VIP check-in, private pool, exclusive restaurant and butlers that will run you rose petal baths. My favourite aspect of these beachside rooms was the interior decor. My room was a beautiful mix of white, sand and smoke-hued tones, an elegant interpretation of a luxury Caribbean resort.
The Reserve Beach Rooms section at Paradisus Palma Real consists of 42 deluxe suites with ocean or partial ocean views and can accommodate up to 2 adults and 2 children, or 1 adult and 3 children.
There were clean lines, plenty of marble and an elegant bathtub separated from the room by a white diaphanous curtain, and it was all so haute and chic I felt like Marilyn Monroe or some other glam star as I lounged around on the bed.
Valuable tip for the self-obsessed: There is a large mirror with a white leather frame on the wall beside the bed so you can actually see how glamorous you look as you lounge – bring satin nightwear befitting of being a star.
There were special kid’s amenities (Johnson’s baby shampoo, anyone?) and some of the suites had Jacuzzi’s on the balcony. I didn’t have one but I should have because I would have used it more than anyone in the world, although it would have cut into my beach time so maybe it was for the best.
Both the Paradisus Punta Cana and Paradisus Palma Real are extremely family-friendly. There is a Kids Zone, activities for teens and a Kids Pool complete with hippo slide. It’s hard to go wrong with a hippo slide.
The Royal Service – Adults Only
The reason I’d choose the Royal Service section at the Palma Real is not just because it’s an exclusive adults-only section with a to-die for lounge and luxe facilities, but because guests in Royal Service have free access to the water facilities at the resort’s Yhi Spa, a full-service spa with cabanas, lots of bamboo, ferns and a hydrotherapy circuit.
Paradisus Punta Cana also has an adult-only all-inclusive Royal Service section.
The Reserve at the Paradisus Punta Cana and Paradisus Palma Real – luxury residential suites
The Reserve is a tranquil section of the hotel. It’s a little boutique world unto itself, and while it’s not directly on the beach, it still gets rave reviews. In fact, The Reserve at the Paradisus Punta Cana Resort was rated the top Punta Cana hotel on TripAdvisor when I went.
The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real
The Grand Reserve is set above the other levels, and people who want to check out the latest in 5-star Caribbean hotels and resorts $110 million resort should have it on their horizon. This $110-million new resort-within-a-resort has 288 large guest rooms.
When I say large, I mean large. They range between 800 and 3,000 square feet. Suites have either one or two bedrooms and have private balconies with whirlpool tubs. For the luxe of the luxe of the luxe, (that’s a lot of luxes), the Grand Reserve’s Swim-Up Suites have direct access to an exclusive pool, complete with lush garden areas and a solarium.
In addition, the Palma Real Grand Reserve has fourteen restaurants and bars, including a gourmet market, modern steakhouse, ceviche bar, cigar bar and sushi bar.
The Grand Reserve caters to families with their Blast! AquaFun Park. For adults, there is a MAIA Signature Spa by Natura Bissé, which features relaxation areas and an outdoor pool. (Note: It’s more expensive than the other Paradisus Dominican Republic resort spas such as the Yhi Spa.)
Guests at the Grand Reserve also have access to all the other restaurants and facilities of the regular Reserve and the Paradisus Palma Real.
Dining at the two Paradisus Punta Cana resorts
Both the Paradisus Punta Cana and Paradisus Palma Real have excellent cuisine – the lobster, avocado and passionfruit salad I had at the Paradisus Punta Cana will forever be imbedded in my tastebuds.
Celebrity chef alert: Martin Berasategui, the renowned Spanish chef behind Passion at the Paradisus Palma Real has eight Michelin stars to his name. Eight! To eat at Passion, there is a substantial additional fee.
Dining tip: Make dining reservations for all the à la carte restaurants (and there are many, as well as cocktail bars, swim-up bars, beachside lounges and nightly entertainment) as soon you as you arrive. Even better, get your butler to do it. Restaurants fill up fast, so I’d put this first on your list.
So there you have it. A tale of two paradises. I hope I’ve helped you sort out the differences between the Paradisus Punta Cana and the Paradisus Palma Real, and the various levels within these two popular luxury resorts in the Dominican Republic. What more can I say, besides eat, drink and be suntanning (with plenty of sunscreen, of course)?
Melia has 12 hotels in the DR. You can check below for prices and availability for these and other Dominican Republic hotels.
Hi Elizabeth, The Paradisus Resort is on the beach but the Reserve is a resort-within-the-resort, and not directly on the beach. Hope that helps.
Elizabeth Ann Ford
When you say The Reserve at Paradisus is not directly on the beach what exactly do you mean. Is it across the street. We spend all our time the beach and are not sure if this resort is the one for us. Can you help clairfy?
I saw a lot of seaweed, but the staff cleaned it up as quickly as they could. It didn’t detract from my trip.
I have the option of staying at either the Secrets Cap Cana or the Paradisus Punta Cana
I could not help notice all this talk about seaweed drifting ashore most of the coastline
Have you heard anything about?
Does it affect significantly the quality of the stay?
I don’t think you can Alex, but please contact the resort directly as it’s been awhile since I was there.
The Royal and Reserve are fairly separate sections, so I wouldn’t think you would even notice, Ashley. But of course everyone is different and I’m not a travel agent so only you can make that decision.
I just love your travel blog! My sister and I are
traveling to the Paradisus Palma Real this month for fun and relaxation from our daily work schedules. We did not book royal services or the reserve due to pricing. We are a bit concerned that we will feel a huge difference with services and treatment from the staff. I’m debating if we should switch to another hotel because of this. What is your opinion about this experience? I truly appreciate your help!
Hi Carol. Do you know if the guests at the main sections of the 2 resorts can use the restaurants at the Reserve?
Hi Tracey, I can’t really give you any more info than I already have. I found Paradisus Punta Cana has a more youthful vibe overall. Maybe someone else here can weigh in. Anyone? Although I do find resorts quite lively at any time of year.
Also….do you know if resorts are dead at that time or still fun/active with people?
Hi! I’m going on July with 16 and 18 yr old and we are booked at PC, but after reading this I’m thinking of switching due to your feeling of Palma feeling like a younger vibe. Does Palma still have music and fun vibe daily by the pool? And which is larger number of rooms? I’m looking for a larger fun vibe and not feeling so spread out that’s it like secluded.
Want the teens to feel fun vibe not romantic getaway vibe!
And PC has more restaurants to choose from, we are there 6 days do you think it will get to repetitive with less? Thx so much!!!!
Hi Bri, I believe children under 12 have access to the kids pool, but please confirm with the resort. Enjoy your trip.
Hi Carol, I’m strongly considering booking the Paradisus Punta Cana and I’m traveling with my husband and 3 boys, ages 4, 6, 7. My concern is that my kids won’t have access to the kids pool since the reserve section would be too pricey for us because we need to book two rooms. Is it true that the regular guests do not have access to the kids pool at the reserve section?
Hi Carol, This has been so helpful, thank you! I read through everything and don’t see any advice about ground transportation/taxi to and from Paradisus Punta Cana and the airport. Other blogs seem to imply getting a taxi can be tricky and many are difficult. Thoughts? Did you book a taxi ahead of time. I don’t see if the resort offers an airport shuttle service. If they do can you please comment on your experience with the shuttle service? TIA!
Dear Louisa, I’m not sure about specific buildings at Paradisus Punta Cana other than the one I stayed in, which is now part of the reserve, fairly new and right on the beach. I wish I could help more. If you were fine without Royal Service your last trip you will probably be fine again this time. I believe you will still be able to have your choice of restaurants except for those specifically for Royal Service, etc.
Hi Carol, six of us old timers are returning to Paradisus PC having stayed there ten years ago. We did not have Royal Service then and won’t this year, the upgrade was pretty expensive. Do you know if any of the regular junior suites are updated or which building is the best to stay in close to the beach. Most of the reviews we see are only talking about Royal Service, how do regular people fare? Will we still get good service and our choice of restaurants.
Hi Abby, I don’t know how Punta Gorda came into this. I’ve never been there. I’d love to help more, but I think the questions you’re asking are more for a travel agent or for the resort directly. I’m really just relating my own experience and not working for the resort or anything like that. I do hope you get the particular info you need.
yes I read through them all, trying to figure what Palma real (not reserve) would have/not have that the Reserve Punta Gorda would..can you expand on that? # of pools, # of resturants, etc. Also, at reserve Punta Gorda do you only have your own concierge if you specifically pick the concierge room type? If so, what are getting if you don’t pick that room type at reserve
Hi Abby, This entire Paradisus review deals with that as much as I can. I suggest you read through the comments, that might help you make your decision. Have a great trip.
Love all the info. Looking to book for march 2018 with our 12 year old and 17 year old. What is the advantage of staying at the reserve punta cana vs just punta cana. Secondly, do you feel Palma Real would be better than Reserve Punta Cana?
Hi Yvonne, I hope you have a great return trip to Paradisus. I contacted the resort about your request for a ground floor and here is what they said. “We don’t guarantee ground floor. We are able to make a strong request through Guest Service at: [email protected].” I hope that helps.
No questions, just wanted to thank you for your insight and suggestions. We leave in a few weeks and are looking forward to our stay. Your blog has been very helpful. Thanks again!
Hi Carole, ty for your blog, i was at paradisus punta cana last Feb 2017 and it was fabulous and I can attest to all you said and more. I was lucky to be assigned a ground floor room upon request. I have already booked The Royal Service Garden View for next Feb 2018. Can you tell me if that will be a ground floor room as this is essential to avoid too many stairs for me. If it is not guaranteed, how can I make that request with the Royal service team?
Hi Amy, That’s a really hard question to answer as it’s pretty subjective, and a bit beyond my scope of knowledge. I would think they’re comparable.
Hi Carol which has the better royal service between the two resorts? Palma Real was more expensive.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been there, Jessica, but from what people have been reporting, the gorgeous family concierge wing which is right on the beach is now the reserve at Paradisus Palma Real. I’m trying to get verification but you should reach out to them directly to confirm.
I am currently deciding between Paradisus Palma Real and Paradisus Punta Cana. How CONFUSING! Both look beautiful for different reasons. My question is if you stay in the reserve is it a really LONG walk to the beach? I’d like to be as close to the beach as possible as we are traveling with a toddler in tow.
Perfect! Thank you! 😊
You don’t need beach towels, Ashley. It’s easy to book excursions through the hotel and they should be reliable. If you want a cab I’m sure the front desk can arrange that for you. Have fun!
A few quick questions…do we need to pack beach towels or are they provided?
Is it easy and reliable to book excursions through the hotel?
Is it easy to get a taxi?
My boyfriend and I will be staying at the Reserve Paradisus Punta Cana in June. So excited!
Great article and great questions from everyone. We just booked a vacation for July at the Reserve. My question is if we do not have the Family Concerige add on package can we still have access to the cabanas by the pool and on the beach with out a fee and do we have access to all of the restaurants ? Also, is making reservations for the Ala Carte restaurants difficult if we do not have the FC package? Tnank you for your help.
Hi Neha, Thanks for that update. I’m currently travelling in South East Asia, so I haven’t had time to research anything. Stacey, does that answer your question?
Hi Stacy. I checked out the Reserve website & it looks like they changed the new FC section at Palma Real to be exclusive to the Reserve guests. This helps answer the question I posted too. “The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real is thrilled to unveil 42 brand new The Reserve Beach Suites. The new accommodations are part of a $12 million dollar renovation project that also includes a new private Loungeand a new exclusive Trattoria-style restaurant and bar. Select from the following categories: The Reserve Beach Luxury Junior Suite Ocean View, The Reserve Beach Luxury Junior Suite Ocean Front and The Reserve Beach Suite Ocean Front. Do not hesitate and book your oceanfront suite today.
The Reserve is a deluxe luxury hotel in Punta Cana with a YHI Spa measuring 2,266 m2, Family Concierge service, fine dining, 3 pools, fully equipped gym, an Eco Garden and golf course and shopping center only five minutes away (transport included), as well as a fantastic Kids Zone measuring 725 m2 for the youngsters, amongst other sensational services. Furthermore, as a The Reserve guest you also have free access to the services, facilities and restaurants at the Paradisus Palma Real (except Royal Service areas).”
Really appreciate this post! You’ve answered so many of my questions & concerns & provided so much more clarity. My hubby & I are thinking of going to Palma Real late fall with our son (who will be 21-22months at the time). We love luxury vacays & top shelf, more exclusive service & not worrying about making reservations. We are torn between doing the Family concierge in the new section OR going with the Reserve (with no family concierge). Since my son is not even 2 I wonder how much added value he would get by going with the FC. If we do the latter, do we have the option of using the Family concierge pool/restaurant on the beach since this is considered an upgrade? Does FC also have an upgraded wine list/premium beverages? With the Family Concierge can we use the kids section in the Reserve? Also, how are the rooms in the Reserve compared to the new rooms in FC by the beach? Thanks!
I booked the punta cana paradisus but I am going with my husband and my 1 1/2 year old . I didn’t know they didn’t have a pool for the kids at the main resort . They have one o lay at the reserve and it makes me so upset to find out about this . Should I upgrade to the reseve ? What do you think ?
I called the hotel (Melia) today and asked them about booking this new wing in the main resort with family concierge and they said it didn’t exist. They said the only place to get family concierge is at the Reserve. I’m a little confused,
If you book the Family Concierge their new wing is gorgeous, and a concierge will help you. Enjoy!
Hi Carol, I’m looking at Paradisus Palma Real or The Reserve @ Palma Real for Thanksgiving weekend. It’s saying no availability for the Reserve. We have 2 kids, 10 and 7. Do you recommend booking standard room or asking for Family Concierge? A big concern of mine is being able to book all the restaurants at decent times.
Hi Carol, thanks for your blog. My wife and I are taking our 2 boys 7 and 10 to the Reserve at Punta Cana Paradisus for March Break. I’m a little unclear on the family concierge service – I know the room is no different, but aside from the amenities I’d like to know if it offers a separate beach area, and if you’d suggest it’s worth the upgrade (also what it might cost)
Thank you, Carol! The info you provided is very helpful!
Hello, Sheryl. I contacted the resort for your questions as well as everyone else’s and they attached a list of activities they have going on every day along with fitness programs and other activities they can enjoy in our property. I can’t add a PDF here, but they range from wine tastings and beach volleyball to painting classes and dance classes. They also said: As per water seaweed, we do not have a lot of seaweed in that time of the year, its always through the last third of the year however we have our hotel staff and trucks up early cleaning up any remnats from the night before so our clients can enjoy the whole day. (Breaking in with my own observations. There was seaweed, but it sort of was in a line on the beach so the water always seemed clear and 90% of the beach was clear – that said, it sounds as if it’s different for different times of the year.)
Hi Dennis, I contacted the resort and here’s what they said: The reserve section has a lot of perks you can take advantage of, private pools, private side of the beach, private bars and restaurants nonetheless they have access to the main properties activities, food and drinks outlets except for the Royal Service which its adults only, so based on these room type you have at the Reserve there are kids in this reservation.
As per the treatment area you have a more spacious spa In The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real where you can take advantage of a complete water ritual, link below with more details.
Hi Frank, I contacted the resort for you with all your questions and this is what they said.: There are plenty of chairs however these are first come first serve, The upgrade to The Reserve is always worth it for the amount of perks that comes with it, If you book it with the family concierge package you will have a concierge that will assist you with reserving chairs. (Breaking in with my own thoughts here, I never had a problem getting a deck chair. Ever.)
As per the water it has great a wave break with coral reef so water is swimmable and placid.
On the comparison to Barcelo, our properties is an unparalleled brand at all different levels, Food quality and service above and beyond.
Distance between The Reserve and main property is only 4 minutes walking distance however we do have shuttle services going around 24/7 which can be accessed through the inter-villa concierge right next to your room,
Hi, We are planning a trip to the Paradisius Palma Real this summer. We are beach people with 2 kids (7 and 11), and don’t plan to be at the Reserve section (too far away from the beach). I would like to know if there are plenty of transats and chairs or do we need to wake-up at 6 in order to get them? Is there section reserved if we upgrade for the Reserve or the family concierge ? Is it worth the extra money ? Is the water nice and calm enough for young kids? Does it compared with the Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort (quality of food and beauty of the beach)?
Thank you for your time,
Hello … we just booked a 2 bedroom swim up suite at the reserve for April vacation.
Please tell me what VIP treatment do we get since we are booked at the reserve , also do we have access to the royal treatment area , and if not can we up grade?
Hi Carol! Great blog packed with helpful info. We are four families looking to go in July. All of our children, with the exception of one, are in the age range of 17-27. Leaning toward the Palma Real…a couple of questions. What kind of activities are there at the resort like organized pool games? music at the pool? Any ping pong tables or volleyball? Also with regards to the beach, is there a lot of seaweed that time of the year and is it typically cleaned up to the point where you can still enjoy the water? Everyone loves the pool, but I am a big beach bum lol. Thanks for any insight you can offer.
Here’s what the resort told me: The Paradisus Punta Cana main areas and rooms have been refurbished.
The rooms closest to the beach are from Royal Service which is our premium Adults Only area.
I like both beaches of Paradisus Palma Real and Paradisus Punta Cana. My personal preference is probably Palma Real.
As many of the posts, I am also looking for advice on choice between Paradisus Punta Cana and Paradisus Palm Real for our 4 night stay in February. We are two adults in our late 50″s, we are not traveling with children. As much as I love the comments on the Palm Real, we also like the idea of a more relaxed feel of the PPC.
Have read some mixed reviews on rooms at the PPC being “tired” and dated but perhaps things have been updated recently.
I am finding the section options daunting …
We want close proximity to the beach, no golf cart, What section of PPC do you recommend?
And if we go with PPR what section do you recommend to get us close to the beach?
Look forward to hearing from you.
Which one has the nicest beach? Thanks!
They’re both right on the beach, Kelley. I’m not sure about going back and forth because of a wedding, so you might be best to book the same resort as your friend. Thanks for reading.
Yes, Kelley, you will have access to the main resort if you book the Reserve. It’s quite far from the beach. Have you thought of booking through a travel agent so she can answer any questions or concerns you might have? If you want to book online and are booking a package, I usually check out prices and flight times and go with what works best for me.
Carol, I forgot to ask if you book the reserve at paradisus palma real do you have access to the main and how far away from the beach? Do you know which site is the best to book?
Which Paradisus Palma Real or Paradisus Punta Cana is closest to the beach? If not how long of a walk to the beach? We are looking for something right on the beach. Also, if I stayed at one resort can I go to the other where a friend is getting married? It is just my boyfriend and I making the trip so we are trying to make it nicest as possible. Does both places have great food?
Paradisus Palma Real, Shalkbil. It’s the newer section on the beach, not the Reserve.
Hi! Same question as Soo… we wanted to stay at the Reserve, as I had heard it is the best, BUT, then I heard the rooms are far from the beach- do not want that. You confirmed you were right at the beach, and you stayed the Family Concierge area- question is, at Paradisus Palma Real OR at the Paradisus Punta Cana? AND was it in the Reserve section of the hotel?
Area: Family Concierge
Hotel: Palma Real or Punta Cana
Reserve: Yes or No
Hi Rebecca, I don’t think you can go wrong with the pools at either resort. They’re lovely.
That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, Soo – as I stayed in the new Family Concierge section that is right on the beach. You can see the pictures on the blog post.
spoke with someone at melia regarding the family section at palma real and he stated that we had to stay at the reserves section to actually be in the family section…is he correct? we asked about family concierge and he said again, we had to stay in the reserve section to get family concierge service…there have been many reviews stating that the reserves is further from the beach so we definitely did not want to do that with 2 – 12 year olds and 2- 15 year olds…
Thanks! Does one have better pools and slides than the other? (We love to eat and swim! HA!)
It depends which resort you’re talking about Karin. In the Paradisus Punta Cana the Family Concierge is located within the Reserve, while it’s separate at the Palma Real. The new Family Concierge area at the Palma Real is absolutely gorgeous and close to the beach. It has it’s own restaurant as does the Reserve. I believe you can get a Family Concierge add on service at the Reserve. Hope this helps.
Pretty even I’d say, Rebecca.
This is a great blog and exactly what we were looking for when comparing the two resorts. Of the two, how do the restaurants compare in terms of quality, selection, etc.? Thanks!
Hi Carol, I’m hoping you can help me understand better the difference between reserve and family concierge. Are there separate pools or restaurants that we wouldn’t have access to if we booked one or the other? Does the family concierge have better access to reservations or other amenities? Looking to travel over Christmas, so it will be busy and I don’t want to miss out on anything because I book the wrong thing. Thanks so much!
Hi Jason, I think it’s a matter of taking a taxi. Just FYI: there isn’t really a policy where you can share the facilities at either hotel so you’d have to check with the management what the best way to visit is. They’re quite separate. Hope that helps!
Hi Carol, just stumbled upon your great blog. As I’m late to the party, I will surely understand if there is no reply. But my quick question is: How did you get from one Paradisus resort to the other? Do the resorts offer (free) shuttles, or is it a matter of getting a taxi? Is it walkable? Much appreciated!
Hi Eve, Regarding your question about upgrading from Paradisus Suite to Family Concierge One Bedroom Suite – The structure and size of the room is the same on both room categories. Family Concierge is an upgraded service focused on families. For me, I probably wouldn’t, but it depends on what kind of service level you’re after. Hope this helps.
Hi Lesli, Have you thought of seeing a travel agent? They can tell you a lot about the different companies, which would have different flight times, perks, etc. If you’re based in Canada, Transat Vacations, Air Canada Vacations and Sunwing options are available, I believe.
Hi Carol, I just lwft the Paradisus Palma Real & all I can say is OMG..the staff there waa very friendly & accomodating. The ammenities are on point & just the vibe all together was wonderful. The food at all the restaurants was very fresh as you could really taste it. We made reservations once we got there & it wasn’t a problem. The pool is outstanding & their wait staff @ the swim up bar really made my days lounging at the pool incredible. The only problem is I want to go back asap..lol..Are there any sites you would suggest to use to try to book another trip as this time I may just be traveling alone for a quick getaway..lol. I originally booked thru Apple who subcontracted a 3rd party that I wasn’t too happy with. I agree w/a prev comment AI is the way to go, I don’t think I will ever travel again without. I’m also apprehensive about the weather as I keep hearing from a friend that hurricane season is coming up..breaks my heart to have to wait a while nother year to go back to my fun jn the sun.
Hi! I just booked the The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real. It will be my, my husband and 5 year old. I booked the Paradisus Suite. Do you think it’s worth to upgrade to the FAMILY CONCIERGE ONE BEDROOM SUITE?
Thanks so much for the comment, Kenny. I’m so glad you enjoyed Punta Cana Paradisus Reserve.
Hi my family just returned from a week long vaca at Punta Cana Paradisus Reserve. We had a family concierge , Jean, he was awesome. For the money well spent, it certainly goes a long way. All inclusive is the way to go. Not sure if I can travel non AI again lol. Your review is spot on with my thoughts of our resort. Good job. Thx.
Hi John, You’d have to ask the hotel directly. I’m not really equipped to make special requests. Paradisus, part of the Melia hotel group, has a customer service telephone number 1 844 837 5747. I hope that helps.
Can I get a microwave at either of these resorts. I also was wondering if I can get a larger fridge than the tiny one some of the rooms seem to have. Thanks!
Yes, Carrie – the room has 2 bathrooms.
Hi Kathleen, I don’t believe they are. The Hotel is telling me that the One Bedroom Suite is only in the The Reserve section.
Do you know if the junior studios and the one bedroom apartment at Paradisus Punta Cana are near each other? We booked through RCI and they have different codes, but was assured they are in the same location. Do you know?
Yes, it has two bathrooms, Carrie.
Hi Carol.. do you know if the 2 bedroom master suite at the Paradisus Palma Real has 2 bathrooms? I read somewhere that this suite connects a one bedroom master suite with a luxury junior suite, so I would assume that there are 2 bathrooms, but the hotel representatives from Melia gave me conflicting answers to this question.
Oh, tough choice. They’re both so nice, but maybe the Paradisus Punta Cana has more of a family vibe. That’s just my opinion, though. Have a wonderful time, Terry.
Hi, I am traveling in 2017 with 5 small children, the oldest is 8. I have narrowed it down to the Paradisus, but not sure which one is the best. What is your opinion?
Hi Kristina, I’ve heard back regarding the upgraded Royal Service but it’s a bit vague: “To make an upgrade you need to book one room and then make an upgrade to the room you prefer to, we have different rates for each type of room you book category first.” Hope that helps.
Dear Kristina, I haven’t forgotten you – I’m having a little trouble getting an answer to your question. If I can manage to get the answer I’ll let you know asap.
Hi Claire, Both resorts are great but I think Paradisus Punta Cana has more of a family vibe. As for the Family Concierge, it’s probably not necessary but if it’s in your budget it would be a nice perk.
I have enjoyed reading this blog on Punta Cana. Thank you! We are planning a vacation this summer to Punta Cana and Paradisus sounds perfect for our family of 4…including 2 boys ages 10 & 14. Kids club not needed, but pool and beach games would be great for my active boys. I’m trying to decide between the two resorts and if the Reserve or Family Concierge is necessary considering my kids ages. I would love to hear your opinion since you’ve stayed at the Palma Real. I love that we can get a 1 or 2 bedroom Master Suite at both resorts. My husband would really like to have access to a hobie cat and snorkeling. Is one resort better for that than the other? Thank you so much!
Hi Doreen. I like both resorts, the Paradisus Punta Cana has more of a family feel, while the Palma Real seems a bit more contemporary and sleek. If you have kids in their 20s maybe the Palma Real would be the best bet. I think as long as you make dinner reservations when you first arrive, you should be okay – or you could try emailing beforehand. I hope this helps.
I was wondering if you knew how much an upgrade was for the royal service. Im reading they offer an upgrade when you get there if you didn’t already purchase it. We’re staying 6 nights. I’m also wondering if it would be cheaper to add it to my trip before getting there. I booked through bookit.com. Imy heading there April 30th. Thank you
Hi Carol, We are looking to travel in May. It will be me, my husband and three young adult children. (22, 20 and 16). I’m a bit confused about the differences between the Paradises Palma Real and the Paradisus Punta Cana. We love the beach and are looking for the best beach, but I would also like the entertainment/vibe to be geared towards their age. I’m also a bit confused about the royal service which seems to be needed to get reservations at the restaurants but my daughter is too young for us to get it. Please advise. Also any other hotel suggestions are welcome. Thank you.
Hi Travis, I just heard back from the Paradisus, who explained that the Family Concierge is a package that you can add to your booking, so you can get the personalized concierge services and extra amenities that are focused on kids in either of the two room categories. As to your choice of family concierge suite or a 1 bedroom suite with private garden, oh gosh – both sound great. I’d be all about the garden, but it’s just a personal preference. I really hope this helps you plan your trip.
Read your review of the Reserve and found it very helpful. Im planning on taking my wife and 5 yr old daughter to the Palma Real in May. Just wondering if you knew whether all suites in the reserve had a concierge? Also if you had any opinions regarding which of the following rooms would be better, the family concierge suite or the 1 bedroom suite with private garden.
It depends on you, Aline, and what you want. Have you contacted the wedding specialists at the resort? That’s what I’d do. If the wedding was going to be small and intimate, I’d probably opt for Paradisus Punta Cana – while Paradisus Palma Real has a terrific place for a larger outdoor wedding. Hope that helps! And congratulations.
If you were looking to have a destination wedding at either one of these locations, which one would you pick and why?
I contacted the Paradisus Resort in the Dominican Republic about the drinking age, and here’s what they said: “The drinking age is from 18 yrs old and due that we use bracelet with all our guest, the 17 year old will have a bracelet with a colour that does not include alcoholic drinks.” As for there being other teenagers, it’s hard to know exactly who will be there at any given time, but there should be activities she can join and hopefully meet other people. It’s a very family friendly resort. Hope this helps!
We have a Family Concierge 1 bedroom master suite at the Reserve Palma Real booked for me, my husband and our 17 year old daughter. What is the drinking age at the resort and how do the resort staff know the age (is there a wristband)? Also, are there many other older teenagers? We are not planning on bringing a friend with her on this trip but wanted to make sure she would have other similar age people for her to interact with. If not, is there a comparable resort in Punta Cana you would recommend instead?
Thanks so much for your fast response!! I appreciate the feedback.
Hi Ashleigh, I think the Palma Real is a good choice for you as it has a bit of a younger vibe. Regarding the Reserve or Royal Service, here’s what I say. If you don’t have it, you won’t miss it. It’s still a lovely resort.
I am trying to plan a trip with my boyfriend and are looking to stay at the Paradisus Palma Real and the Paradisus Punta Cana. Because the Palma Real is newer I was leaning towards that one. I also was wondering about the main section. Everyone keeps talking about the Royal or the Reserve. Do you have any information on the main section? Is it still just as nice to stay there? Will we be missing out if we don’t upgrade. The price was significantly different so just trying to understand more about it.
Hi Jessica, I contacted the Paradisus and you’ll be happy to hear that “At the Paradisus in Dominican Republic the golf is included and you do not have to attend any time share presentation to get it. Tee time is included, clients just need to play for the car fee.”
Incredible insight and very helpful. You had me at clearer water at PPC on the beach !!!! ;) The reason why I’m choosing Paradisus over any other resort on the Island is because I saw something about free golf daily as a guest, but Im having a difficult time getting reassurance on this and online information and forums on this topic. Not much on their website either about this. What do you know about this? And do you know if you have to sit through time share meetings to be able to get this amenity ? Is this a common knowledge of resorts in Punta Cana? Do they all offer this?
Hi Carol – I see it on http://www.paradisus.com/family-concierge-suites.php – hope this helps.
Hi Carol – I am trying to decide what is better the reserve or the Paradisus Palma Real. You have mentioned in your comments about the Family Concierge Service, but when I go on their website, I only see this option at the reserve? Not sure where to find that option. Could you let me know.
That’s a tough one, Ivy. The Paradisus Palma Real has a new family concierge area that is very close to the beach and is modern and lovely, yet the Paradisus Punta Cana has a slightly more tropical family-friendly feel in my opinion – the choice is yours. If I were going to do Paradisus Palma Real I’d do family concierge, just because of the new wing.
We are travelling with 2 under 2 years old. The must haves are 24 HR room service since most of our vacation will be in the room, a nice room, and close beach with calm water. Which of the 2 paradisos would you suggest with what add on (family concierge vs reserve?)
Or is there another resort altogether you would suggest?
It depends what you want. I found Paradisus Punta Cana a little more intimate and lush, Paradisus Palma Real was more chic. I liked them both a lot – so if one is cheaper I’d opt for that.
We looked at Paradisus Palma Real but crossed it off our list because how expensive it would be for our guests. Paradisus Palma Real averages around $1900 USD a week.
We are trying to be mindful of our guests budget constraints.
So are trying to keep it around $1400-$1500 USD a week.
We’ve just been doing research online thus far. Forums, websites, youtube etc…
Which did you like better Paradisus Palma Real or Paradisus Punta Cana?
Which would you have a wedding at?
This is tough for me, Ali, because I’ve only been to one of the resorts you mention, the Paradisus Punta Cana. I loved it, but I wasn’t getting married there. Have you spoken to your travel agent. And this is really going to confuse you, but I really liked the special events beach space at the Paradisus Palma Real. Above all, congratulations!!!
My fiance and I are looking to get married/have our wedding in PC in April of next year (2017) god willing.
We can’t pick a hotel, so many nice ones and their all so close on what we want.
Can you give any suggestions?
Looking to have roughly 60 guests, has to be family friendly, on the beach, it has to be max $1500 USD for a week/7 days for my guests.
This is the order we have but can’t really decide between these 4…
In order of our favorites…
1. Paradisus Punta Cana
2. The Level at Melia Caribe
3. CHIC by Royalton Punta Cana Resort
4. Dreams Palm Beach
Can you please give us your feedback, suggestions?
Have you been at any of these hotels?
Which one of these hotels is more “wedding” friendly?
Which will allow me to bring in my own photographer?
Thank you so much and Happy New Year!
Hi, Sabrina – The Family Concierge rooms at the Paradisus Palma Real are just over a year old. Here’s the press release I had just before I went last February. I stayed there and my room was gorgeous.
“The resort recently underwent a $12 million renovation unveiling brand new ocean front suites featuring their signature Family Concierge service. The project added 42 new luxury suites; a new Private Family Concierge Lounge; a new Family Concierge exclusive Trattoria-style restaurant and bar; and a new private beach complete with kid’s activities. Available at all Paradisus properties, Family Concierge service provides luxurious suite accommodations designed specifically for parents looking to have a hassle free vacation. These suites include a dedicated concierge and children-friendly amenities.”
Hi! I’m leaning towards the family concierge rooms at the punta Cana paradises…..do you know when they were last renovated? thanks
Thank you creating this very informative blog on this seems to be confusing me hotel.
I was wanting your opinion on our stay , we are looking at booking a 11 night stay at Paradisus punta Cana ..all inclusive with kids club. We are booking through a UK travel agent.. Then I saw the Reserve at Paradisus Punta CAna, which offers the family concierge service, we have a very active sociable 2 year old who would love the kids club ( mornings at least ) .. This is more pricey but it has the family concierge service and the access to the kids pool..
Sorry I will get to the point now… It states when booking that when you book at the reserve you get full access to the Paradisus Punta Cana resort with its 12 restaurants as well as the 3/4 specific restaurants at Reserve. I get the impression that the beach is a 10min ride to beach?
Please could you tell me if for the extra €1800 would it be worth us booking at the reserve ? And how far away the beach is.
I’d very much appreciate your opinion as my friends with an 11 year old have now asked to join us on holiday and leaving it up to me to make a decision.
Mrs Lee Myatt
Hi, Krissy. You cannot use the facilities at one hotel if you’re staying at the other. But both beaches are fantastic, and the properties are on the beach.
If I was to stay at the paradise Palma Real can I use the beach at the Paradise Palma seeing some how it seems nicer there. And how far away is the beach from the resort.
Hi Tracy, I contacted the hotel and they said there are some exceptions at Christmas, and if you want to privately send me your booking info via my contact page I’ll happily pass it on to the hotel and you can talk to them directly. How fabulous that you’ll be there for Xmas!
Do I need to make dinner reservations in advance for xmas week?
Hi Doug, Here’s what they told me at Paradisus Palma Real – “The kids can use the kids pool at The Reserve if they are in the kids club, but just the kids. The parents can sign the child in to enjoy the kids pool and they will have access to the pool.” Hope this helps.
Hi Carol – do you know if guests at the Paradisus Palma Real can use the kids pool without staying in the Family Concierge Rooms?
Hi Dennise, I would say Paradisus Palma Real has a younger vibe.
We are planning a trip and taking our 17 year old daughter. Is one resort more preferable to teens than the other?
I’ve reached out to someone in the know about the Reserve at Punta Cana and The Reserve at Palma Real. This is the response I got: “There are few differences between he two The Reserve per say. The one at Punta Cana has colonial furniture and a more Caribbean feeling as the on at Palma Real, it is more modern.” I hope this helps!
Greatings from Brazil!
I know that this an old post but I really need to know something, and I believe you can help me. Do you know the diferences between The Reserve at Punta Cana and The Reserve at Palma Real? Is it the beach, the service, or anything like it, could you let me know if you have the answer?
Thank you so much!!
Thanks for weighing in, Gary!
Our family along with my brothers family recently had to make the same decision as it was difficult to understand the difference between the two properties until you actually are there.. We ended up choosing The Paradisus Palma Real and stayed at the Reserve.. We made our decision based on the recent renovation project to The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real. Which was well done.
The property was very nice and we upgraded our room to a larger room size once we arrived to a room called “swim up” which gives your family a private entrance to the pool. I would definitely recommend the larger swim up room ..There are 3 restaurants at the reserve and maybe another 5 at the main beach resort. The reserve is a short golf cart ride from the main property and beach…
We were hesitant about an all inclusive but were quite pleased with the quality of the food.
We are beach people and the beach was the biggest disappointment. The water was not Caribbean blue as we expected and was covered in sea weed.. Apparently they are having a sea weed problem this year… Because we are beach people we actually booked the first 6 nights at the reserve and then our last 2 in a large ocean front suite.. The room was very nice and comparable to any other luxury hotel we have previously stayed.
We ended up chartering a boat one day out of the Punta Cana resort which was about a 20 minute taxi ride… The water there was that Caribbean blue we we’re looking for. There is a new Westin property there and a section called Tortuga Bay that seemed very nice.
In a nutshell if you are ok hanging out at the pool then I would highly recommend he reserve . If you want to be on the water than stay at the main property .. Hope this helps
Hi Jennifer, The new Family Section at Palma Real is completely separate from the Reserve. The Family Section is gorgeous and much closer to the beach. I loved it. I hope this helps!
Hi Carol, I am so confused. When you say that you stayed at the family section of the Palma Real, do you mean the Reserve? I am torn about which section to stay at since my girls are 14 and 16, and we do want access to the best beach area. I would love your input! Thanks so much.
Hi Chelsea! A destination wedding. How exciting. I would probably suggest you stay at the Paradisus Palma Real, mainly because you’re young (oh, lucky you) and to me, the Paradisus Palma Real has a more sleek modern feel and because it has a terrific beach section for private functions. It’s a tough choice, though, as the Paradisus Punta Cana seems a bit more intimate. I stayed in the family section at the Palma Real, even though I wasn’t with family, and I can’t help but think it would be ideal for you, as it’s close to the beach but more private than the main section. Another option is the Royal Section – like the Family Section it has its own lounge and facilities. You can contact the Romance Planner for the Paradisus Resorts at [email protected] and they can steer you to the best section for your budget and also to the right resort. I really hope this helps and please let me know which one you choose. PS: Go here and look at the photo of the guy playing the trumpet. I believe that’s the section for functions, at least that’s where I went to one. https://wanderingcarol.com/tropical-island-paradisus-palma-real-dominican-republic/ Gorgeous, right?
My name is Chelsea. My fiancé Jon and I are looking to have a destination wedding somewhere in the Caribbean. Through our initial google search for popular all-inclusive destinations, we stumbled upon both Paradisus Punta Cana and Paradisus Palma Real… Up until 10 minutes ago, we were sure that they were the same. Thank God for your blog! We really enjoyed reading through all of your thoughts on both. I was just wondering, and would be curious to know, which you thought would be more fitting for a beach wedding between two 26 year olds… Adding in that we would also be spending a majority of our time there with a good portion of our friends and family. Also, in reference to the different sections of the resorts, which do you think would work better if we would all want to stay nearby each other, prefer to be oceanside, and would hesitate to place ourselves within the family section? Sorry if I’m overwhelming you with all my questions… Now that we decided we want a destination wedding, I realize that I have no idea what I’m doing. Thank you for any thoughts or ideas you may have on this.
P.S. If there are any other totally awesome places other than the ones I mentioned that you think would make a great location for a beautiful beach wedding, I’m open to any and all ideas at this point!
Thank you so much for your time,
Hi,drrudy, I contacted the spokesperson for the resort and got the answer (I hope) to your questions. The Family Concierge area at Palma Real is right where I stayed at the main resort, in the new Family Concierge area.
In your case the spokesperson thinks you might prefer The Reserve since the children are small and the Kid Zone and Kid’s Pool are very close to The Reserve.
You mention Family Concierge at PPR is located separate? Where is it located? At the main resort or near the Reserve PPR? Family of 4 (kids are 4 and under), do you recommend The Reserve or Family Concierge at Palma Real? How far is either one from the beach?
Both are great properties with great amenities, Gary. Punta Cana is a little more laid back maybe. I’d be happy at either, and hope you will, too.
We love luxurious vacations. Can you recommend either the Reserve at Punta Cana or the Reserve at Palma Real. There are 2 families traveling. We have a 12 yr old and my brother has a 9 and a 5 year old. Right now, we have reservations in the Reserve at Palma Real. Is there any compelling reason to switch this to Punta Cana (Reserve)? PS – We did not book the family concierge as our daughter is 12, so did not see the benefit. Any suggestions/guidance is greatly appreciated. We leave in 2 days!
Thanks Carol, I think it has to do with the number in my party. If I get 2 rooms then the option comes up. We were hoping to all be together but I would love the Royal Service. Maybe they have connecting rooms! I will give them a call. Thanks again!
It probably depends on availability. You’d have to inquire once you’re there. I’d try to contact them beforehand though. Have fun!
Is the Royal Service offered at check in. I didn’t see it as on option during the online booking process (didn’t complete it). Traveling with 4 other adults. Girls trip!
They’re owned by the same, but not too close too each other. You’d have to email them about access – though I can’t see it being a problem. We ate at one while staying at the other. Hope that helps.
are the 2 resorts connected? does one give access to the other?
The Royal Service section looks fabulous and I love the artworks in both resorts
Suze | LuxuryColumnist
I didn’t know about UNESCO declaring beaches either, Lesley.
Gorgeous photos, esp. of the water and food. Both resorts look enticing but if I had to pick I’d choose the more relaxed, garden-y Paradisus Punta Cana. Resident flamingos are truly the icing on any vacation cake. I had no idea that UNESCO recognized Bávaro as one of the best beaches in the world, or recognized beaches at all. Good to know!
Michele Peterson (A Taste for Travel)
Greta post! I highly recommend dining at Passion, it’s not often a person gets to experience the cuisine of a culinary master like Martin Berasategui. Likely the best meal you can find in the Caribbean
I actually did not know where Punta cana is so thanks for the heads up, as for which to choose i vote both as i would so love to see either of them and bonus if i see and experience both.
Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes
You now having me craving a holiday. It looks so stunning!
Jenn Smith Nelson
I’m actually looking to sneak away at the end of March and have never been to Punta Cana. The flamingos are really calling my name right now.
This looks beautiful! If I won the lottery then this would be a place we would go for sure.
I know, Shannon. We should all have rose petal baths in our lives. (Now we just have to convince our partners to run them for us.)
I love that they sprinkle rose petals around the bath! It looks like a beautiful place!
Hi Ann – I found this on a travel site about the Paradisus Palma Real: Has: Accessible facilities, Accessible parking, Public areas are wheelchair accessible for disabled, Handicapped parking. You should contact them for further info. I do hope this helps.
Ann Ganter (MRS)
I am disable and having been to the Dom Rep this is nothing like we endure it was the worst holiday l had but this place looks completely different, does the adults only rooms have showers and does it deal with the disable?