Grand Palladium Palace Resort, Spa & Casino
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Villa Marcilla
Welcome to Paradise
My husband I took our first trip to Punta Cana April 17-24 this year.....we acutally had never even heard of this place until the travel agent suggested it....we were looking for a place to veg out! Wow...we were more then satisfied we had been to Cancun before but this far beats that......We arrived on time proceded through customs very quickly found our bags and our apple rep and was off to the hotel in no time at all........we were so pleased with such a wonderful place to stay, the staff always friendly and smiling it was a pleasure spending time with them and they sure know the meaning of hard work! The beach there was undescribeable it was beautiful Theres so much to do and the live shows everynight were great! The food was good however it did get old after 7 days.....my only comment there was to have some different kinds of authentic american food each night but I never went hungry!! We took the jungle safari with Migel.........now hes the man!! It was well worth the money and we had lots of fun.... We did a couple of other things as well, and it was just enough to break up the week but not to much to keep us tired!! We made wonderful new friends while there and doing things together was even more fun and we are going to stay in touch! I plan on going back to Punta Cana.......hopefully soon....its truly a tranquil paradise and it don't get any better then our week there!!
We took our much needed vacation to Punta Cana April 17-24 2004. We left Hartford about 5 minutes early which was a pleasant surprise and arrived in Punta Cana about 15 minutes early! Very quick efficient service at the airport within 10 minutes we were off to our hotel. About a 25 minute bus ride. Check in was very smooth and quick. Our room was always very clean. Not sure if the american money we left on the bed everyday helped, but no complaints with the room service, even getting our towels shaped like different animals with flowers around them. Everyone always seemed ready to help and very happy. The beach is probably one of the best in this particular section...no seaweed to walk through like further down the beach. The sand is very soft and the water is absolutley breath taking! I wish I could have burned the picture in my memory forever! The selection of food is fantastic however not really to out taste, we always found something to eat, however it usually ended up being chicken of some sort and 7 days and nights of chicken can get old after a while. I don't fault the resort for this it is simply a matter of taste, we did find the Cathedral at the Palladium had the best selection for dinner. The sports bar was great for Nachos and cheese but not a place for dinner. We tried the pasta and pizza place twice but both times left very hungry and dissatisfied. We were fortunate enough to have met some friends while we were there and hopefully have made a lifelong friendship thanks to Fiesta Palace! We did 3 excersions while there, we did the Outback Jungle Safari, highly recommend this trip! We had Migel as our tour guide and he really made the day memorable. (not to mention you end the day boggy boarding at a private beach, very fun!) lot's of Rum pepsi and Presidente beer for everyone! We also did the Saona Island tour, very nice but I do think maybe a little overpriced. Then we did snorkeling, 20.00 a person, It was worth the 20.00 if not just for the boat ride! I could go on forever about the great time we had, one of our best vacations ever!!! Not to mention the perfect weather the entire time we were there, but from what we understand that is always the case. I checked the weather daily on line before going and it continuosly said rain...we had about 2 minutes of rain the whole trip... we will return to Punta Cana and stay at the Fiesta Palace Resort again!
Beautiful Fiesta Palace
April 7-14, 2004This was my first trip down south, and what a great one it was. It certainly will not be my last... However, it was my sister's third trip. Previous trips were in D.R. and the other in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.FLIGHT & ARRIVAL & DEPATURE We left Moncton April 7th on Air Transat at around 8:30 which was half an hour late. No problem. We arrived at Punta Cana around noon. When we stepped off the plane warm weather and sunshine greeted us. What a feeling!! Had a big fat smile for the picture they take when you walk in the terminal, which I bought on the day of our departure. Bus ride was interesting: they own the road and seem to drive on the yellow line. The day of our departure was just as smooth, although we were note as excited ... The departure time was 1:05pm which was great because we had time to visit the beach one last time and have breakfast before our departure for the airport.ACCOMODATIONS: Arrived at Fiesta Palace around 1:00; check-in was extremely fast. However, our room was not ready. Used this time to go eat and visit the beautiful grounds. We were told our rooms would be ready around three. We were able to "move" in by 2:15. We had first floor room 9504. The room was very nice: 2 double beds, mini-bar (stocked with beer, water, coke and sprite) in room safe, 2 chairs, coffee table and TV. The bathroom was a bit small but very clean none the less. We had ocean view from the patio, slightly blocked by the many palm trees, which was fine with us. We did hear our upstairs neighbours walk in the morning, but other than that, it was very quiet. We did leave small gifts and a few pesos for the maid on a few occasions. Our room was always made when we went by at lunch time. She left fresh flowers on a few occasions. We did turn the air conditioner off when we arrived because we thought it was a bit cool and we wanted to enjoy the warmth of the D.R. However, after a few days, we did turn it on again, especially to sleep better.BEACH The beach was just beautiful: clean and very soft sand. You can walk for miles. I almost started crying when I saw the sea: it's just like a dream. My only negative comment is that there are not enough "palapas" for shadow. I love the sun, but sometimes, a little shade is nice. There are many palm trees, but you have to move around all the time to follow the shadow. Also there are many taxi boats that go by, but after a while, you don't hear/see them anymore... A shopping centre is very close by. As Anne-Lise, our WOV/Nolitour representative said, if you decide to go, put on your football shoulders and go in! Lots of overpriced items, so be ready to bargain.POOL: I can't comment very much on the pool because I'm a beach person. However, I did walk by it a few times, and it is beautiful. Many palapas which seemed to be "reserved" very early in the morning...WEATHER: The weather was warm & sunny with a light breeze which made it just great. We had rain for about half an hour on our second day during breakfast. I have to say I thought it would be much muggier than it was, but I'm not complaining.FOOD: The food was very very good. We ate at the buffet Las Torres every morning and for six of our seven suppers. We were always greeted at the door with a smile. The variety was great and I always found something I liked. Lunch buffet at El Bohio was also great. We tried one a la carte: Mare Nostra. It was O.K. but nothing exceptional. We heard that the Tex-Mex was excellent. Will have to try it next time. We also heard that the Pallidium buffet was excellent but we did not visit as we thought Las Torres was great. My sister's only negative comment for this trip: the desserts. She has a sweet tooth and thought there just was not enough selection. On my part, I really enjoyed the chocolate crepes. Miam, miam... GROUNDS: It was just beautiful. Take the opportunity to visite the whole Palace grounds on the mini-bus. It smells a bit like gasoline, but is sure worth the 10 minutes drive. The covered paths are beautiful. We did not see many flowers. However, as some were left in our bathrooms everyday, I suspect they were all picked before we had a chance to see them.EXCURSIONS: We went on the Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure. Amos was our host and he was just great. We visited a sugar cane plantation. I had my second teary eyes moment when I saw a group of children running after us. After that first stop, Amos kept the rum, beer and water flowing to a bus load of French Canadians who suddenly weren't that quiet anymore. Then it was a visit at the tabacco museum followed by a visit to a Dominican home where Maria grows coffee and cocoa beans etc. We then went to the ranch for lunch and horse back riding. They take a picture of you and put it on a rum bottle which you can buy for 10$US (I think). My picture was not taken and I was a bit bummed about that but bought some rum elsewhere afterwards (hi!hi!). We finished our safari with a visit to a secluded beach by the Secrets Resort.I have no trouble recommending this resort to anyone. Also, many had warned us about travelling to the D.R. during Easter week (not as much service, many D.R. people on the resort, etc.). We did not see anything that would stop us from going again at that time of year.
We loved the buffet and the staff
I have been an week in this resort and we , I and my husband, were pleasent with all the service and food there. Only the beach we didn't like because the sea was hard and I like to swim and only at the end of day it was a little better. At the resort we had good food , not the fish, that we didn't liked ,because in Portugal we have a very special fish and we prefer it , inside meat.Nobody had any illness but I think that the people that talk about needind "imodium" it's because they eat more then we need ;all day I see them eating and drinking. By night I think that the shows were a little poors. The weather was moreless, it 's raining the second day , but the temperature was pleasent. I think I will return a day, in another month, perhaps better to swim.
Wonderful and will go back
Visited for 2wks from Jan 25-Feb 8/04 and had a wonderful time. To the wouldn't go back review - probably would find something wrong with any place they travelled , ignore it - Fiesta Palace is by far one of the best resorts my husband and I have visited. The buffet always had a large variety and good food - never sick - Restaurants were available to us but we ate every dinner at the buffet, The restaurant at the pool area was handy for lunch and the pizza and pasta rest. also had good food for lunch. The beach was perfect, well maintained and peaceful, very little seaweed compared to further down the beach at the Barcelo Bavaro Beach & Carib where we stayed last year. There are no coffee makers in the rooms and that would have been nice, the only thing I could really say they could improve on is sometimes our room was not done until 4-5 pm. in the afternoon at which time we were usually off the beach and resting before dinner at 7 pm. If you are undecided about picking this resort I would say you will not be disappointed.
Recomended for great relaxation
My boyfriend and I just got back with 3 other couples and had a great time . The resort had very clean rooms, grounds, and all round great place to stay and the Dominican people are always happy and had a smile for you. They appreciate anything you give them there whether it is perfume or a few american dollars as they work very hard and very long hours and don't make much money. Make sure you bring something from home to float on as we were always thankful we did because you won't find anyplace to buy like that there, then you can pass it on to someone else there when you leave. The wine in all the fiesta resorts that was included could be a step up as we didn't care for it much. The decorated tree in the lobby of our resort was just georgeous. The casino wasn't open yet but about to soon. The entertainment on the stage was so so ,they need some practice. But the animation team were very funny and nice. Beach partys were fun, wear shorts no skirts to that as it is very physical. The best part I have to say was the beautiful beach and soft sand that didn't burn your feet when you walked on it. Don't drink to many coconut drinks as the milk will really do a number on you.
Too expensive for the service!!
The hotel was very well kept but the food left several people from our party sick (13 out of 16 people got sick ). There was no potable drinking water upon our arrival and none to be purchased after hours. A hotel in this price range should at least have potable water in the rooms. A definite disappointment and I would not return to this hotel.
The place was definitely understaffed during peak hours of arrivals or departures.
Just loved the Fiesta Palace resort
I read the two reviews above; one glowing and the other one rather negative. Just to state that my partner and I stayed there last Christmas and will go back this coming Christmas season, again for 2 weeks. This will then be our 3rd Dominican vacation. We were once in Bayahibe, but the sea there is full of stones. It is absolutely impossible that someone got sick from the food there - the food is far above average and everything is very, very clean. People should cut down on cold beer and alcohol, and avoid ice cubes in drinks outside of the hotel; that's what can make you sick! The hotel is located in a huge, fairy-tale like tropical park (the biggest of the entire strip) and we can use the resto's and facilities of the adjacent Fiesta Beach and Bavaro hotels, which is a bonus and gives variation. The entertainment could need some sprucing up, but during the Christmas week there is additional entertainment and late night buffets/bbq outside on the grounds which we enjoyed thoroughly. The staff is super-friendly and work very hard. There is a nice shopping centre nearby, plus the village next-door, and we are looking forward to our second stay there. The Adventure excursion is a must; quite worthwhile.
Other than that, one can always take a cab at night to a nearby casino hotel for some change....We checked the prices and found the best value still at the Palace. I can recommend it to anyone, and for people with children, the Fiesta Bavaro has a daycare, and extra family entertainment at night. I heard of a Belgian couple who are returning every Christmas, for 7 years already. Elly from Laval (QC), Canada
Fiesta Palace Magnificent
February 2003 Flying from: Toronto to Punta Cana
Airline: Air Transat on an L1011-150 series, left Toronto on the afternoon of January 25 at 4:15 pm, Flight departed on schedule and was in Punta Cana in 3 hours and 35 minutes, amazingly ahead of the itinerary scheduled listed 4 hours and 10 minute flight time. Very smooth flight in relatively good comfort with the 3-4-3 seating configuration. Immigration and luggage claim was quick and smooth.
Return flight: On arrival at the airport we saw the lineups, very long and all check in points very busy, they immediately opened an new check in line for Air Transat and we were whisked into the very busy Terminal within 10 minutes. Flight back on board a L1011-500 series was very smooth, departure was scheduled for 10:55 pm delayed for 15 minutes due to 3 passengers arriving late and scheduled landing at Pearson of 1:55 am took place at 2:10 am. Customs and baggage claim was very swift as I was in a taxi and heading to my car by 3 am.
Resort: Fiesta Palace with access to the Fiesta Beach, Fiesta Lookea and Fiesta Bavaro Check in was very fast, courteous and efficient. We were headed to our room within 10 minutes after being greeted by Luigi from the Debbie's East Coast bulletin board. On entering the second floor room in Block 8400 we found a very large clean well decorated room with 2 three quarter beds, or luggage arrived within 5 minutes and it was off the bar for a long awaited cold Presidente.
Restaurants in the resort were very clean. The food was very good and had a good selection of different hot and cold items. I must say that all the specialty a la carte restaurants, the Arrecife ,the Mare Nostrum, the Tex-Mex and La Uva restaurants had an excellent selection available and reservations were easily made at the Guest Services desk in the main lobby. A strange thing though, you had to pre order your food when you made your reservation at any a la carte restaurants, not a problem though. The only restaurant I was disappointed in was the Tex_Mex as the vegetables and steak I had ordered were only luke warm, the others were very good and well presented. A wine list was presented at each restaurant but you could just ask for the house wine, which was very decent. Actually you really do not need to go to a la carte because they had such a fantastic selection in the buffet restaurants with cooking stations to prepare your meats in front of you just the way you wanted. The buffet items were well present a great selection and very hot. The Las Torres buffet had a very nice breakfast selection and hosted the evening buffet as well. Friday night was lobster night, amazing amount of seafood available with a fine selection of roast port, beef, chicken and turkey for those who did not like seafood.
La Bochio restaurant adjacent to the beach had a well stocked and delicious noon to 3 pm buffets with a cooking station with 4 or 5 selections of hot meats every day.
All the staff of the hotel were very courteous, helpful and greeted you constantly with "Hola" or "Buenas diaz", the services at the bars was very good as they could make you anything you wanted to order, with domestic liquors. International brands were available for a surcharge but not many people were ordering the extra charge drinks. Presidente draft beer taps were available in various bars on a 24 hour basis, just help yourself.
Grounds in the resort were immaculately maintained and any debris (papers, cups, cigarette butts etc.) was cleaned up quickly and not left laying around. The beach was incredibly clean with very little sea weed washed up, what did wash ashore was raked up quickly. The beautiful white sugary sand beach with the large coconut palms (lots), palapas (a few) and chaise lounges lined up facing the beautiful blue colors of the sea were kept very clean during the day by staff who walked around picking up any empty plastic drink cups. In fact the tourist should have been more considerate and used the garbage cans that were available and put the junk in them rather than leave it on the beach. But an old saying goes "that you cannot legislate intelligence."
The seaweed we had heard so much about did not pose any problems as minimal amounts washed up naturally from the sea and was raked every morning and as needed. The waters of the sea were very warm and refreshing and crystal clear after you ventured about 20 feet into the sea away from the sand wash. Excellent for swimming and snorkeling. As the day progressed the winds tended to pick up a bit as did the surf but never did this stop the use of the ocean.
Many tours were offered by the resort, I personally took the Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure with our friends so they could see the real Dominican, it was a very good trip back into the mountains and valleys.
We visited a sugar plantation, rice fields, tobacco museum and a small Dominican cocoa farm where we were took through their home and entertained to cock fights in the backyard. We visited Rancho Yuna for a Dominican lunch along with a cool cerveza and went on a half hour horse back ride around the ranch. We then headed into a small village to visit a school where we were afforded the chance to give the kids some schools supplies ,candies and take some pictures. In the village we saw how the Dominicans lived, what their shops were like, especially the butcher shop with the fresh meats hanging adjacent to the roadway.
The people were very friendly and waved and yelled "Hola" as our truck passed through the village. We then headed to the secluded beach south of Secrets Excellence for a swim and some bogie boarding, it was far to rough to use the boards and our guide recommended that we just take a quick dip to cool off. I ventured down the beach to try and get into Secrets Excellence for a quick invited tour with the Manager Sandeep but the security guard at the front gates would not let me in or even call the Manager, so I walked back and entered via the beach where the security guard there was having a nap under a palm tree. I walked in to the resort lobby looked around, asked for Sandeep, no one knew where he was so I used their washroom facilities and headed back to our group.
The surf there was actually so rough that there was no one in the water.
The snorkeling and diving trips to the reef were very reasonably priced and well organized by Dolin Divers. Other facilities included in the package were catamaran, sailboards, snorkeling equipment and kayaks which were on the beach at the Bavaro resort, with lessons given by the staff. It was quite a long walk from the Palace to the Bavaro to use the watersports area and would be much better if they had been distributed into about three locations.
In conclusion, the Fiesta Palace and the sister resorts Fiesta Beach, Lookea and Bavaro were very well maintained and beautiful picturesque paradise that I would highly recommend any of these resorts.
Pictures are available at this link http://www.worldisround.com/articles/12506/index.html
Would not go back
Be warned..the food made our group very sick. The entertainment was blan and the front desk had 2 people in particular that were very difficult to deal with. The phone lines are not great & got cut off several times & we also lost power for a while. The best thing about the resort was the beach, although we had a bit of seaweed, it was breath taking. After our second visit to Punta Cana, I would have to say that our first expereince was much better. We stayed at the Grand Paradise Bavaro & could not have had a better time.
TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel Villa Marcilla
Travel Blogs from Punta Cana
We went to sinoa island today. We stopped off at a natural pool then island them back in a different boat. We came back and the door was unlocked again. Sigh. We went to reception to tell them and they said they'd take care of it. It's not safe to leave it unlocked. We had her a top also so for the extra towel we didn't yesterday haha Went to Japanese restaurant. We asked for vegetarian food but they kept bringing meat lol so we ...
Woke up went to eat. Went to the pool. Came home showered and went to have lunch. Walked to other nearby resorts and walked back on the beach. Had a bit of an argument haha we made up. Went back to the pool and then came home showered. Got ready for dinner. Dinner was basically all meat! Neeti and I were looking at each other and planning an exit strategy. Haha We ended up just leaving. Watched iron man 3 and passed ...
Sunny day! Got up, had breakfast and took some pics. Now scheduling return shuttle. Got tics to go to a close by island. Went to beach and pool. Went back to room to change. Eating. Went to pool again. Now getting ready for dinner. Had dinner. Came home and ...
I'm truly amazed at the smoking culture outside of Canada. As an ex smoker I'm really noticing all of the places that you are allowed to smoke here. The first thing I noticed when walking into our room was an ashtray on the coffee table. Seriously. Everywhere you go you can smell the ...
... the images (you cannot bring your own camera). :(
Today was our rest day, did not really do much but explore the island and enjoy the sun. There were a lot of activities that you could sign up for that is included in the all inclusive package. I took part in the Zumba and the step class. Loved it, the dude that taught us was either high or drunk it was amazing.
So much fun, cannot wait till tomorrow!