The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, Punta Cana Hotel Review

Beach @ The Reserve • Punta Cana
Beach side
Tis' the season
Cultured Black Pearl in Punta Cana

The week before Christmas I had the bright idea to get away to Punta Cana. I’d never had a desire to visit the Dominican Republic (read why I won’t go back) but hit the road anyway for some fun in the sun since my chaotic schedule had gotten the best of me. You can check out my entertaining experience in Punta Cana over here!

Now on to the hotel review for The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real

the deets

Had the pleasure of staying at The Reserve at Paradisus and it was truly the best resort in town. Two hotels sit on this property. There’s the main lobby where those who come to party go and there’s The Reserve (the villas) where the laid back crowd resides. I was a bit worried upon arrival after being taken to the wrong lobby to check-in which wasn’t the blissful experience I expected. Quickly learned I was in the wrong spot and was ushered back down the hill in a golf cart to The Reserve. The cart boy tried to convince me to change my room to the main hotel. I’m so glad I didn’t fall for his theatrics! He kept saying all the kids were over at The Reserve and mostly families stayed on that part of the resort. I found that to be untrue.

Once I arrived at the correct destination, the check-in process was smooth. If you’re in Club Meliá you’ll have a private entrance and personalized concierge experience. If you’re not familiar with Club Meliá read this blog post to understand the rewards of being a club member.

The aromatic scent of incense greeted me on my enchanted walk to my lovely room.


Now this is the way to stay while on vacation! The amazing suite was easily the size of a studio apartment if not larger. I loved the arrangement of the furniture and openness of the room. Sliding doors easily hid within the wall to create privacy if and when needed. I’d love to find a home similar to this layout right on the beach!

The granite counter tops, marble floors, and effective kitchen/dining area was a major plus. The daily amenities and refreshments were well received too.

There’s enough space in the bathroom to accomplish a number of tasks whether solo or not. The shower head, water temperature and pressure were all on point. As is the pressure in the toilet. This is important as I hate hate hate traveling and not being able to have enough water pressure to handle business! The hot tub on the private balcony is also a plus if that’s your thing. I’m not about that mosquito life or that community hot tub life so I admired from afar inside my air-conditioned villa.

My only gripe is room services comes way too often. They are constantly knocking on your door or simply entering for random reasons. This started to piss me off as I kept the do not disturb sign on the door. There really is no reason to enter a guest’s room on an hourly rotation.

about those private pools and beach

I ventured out to one of the many private pools adjacent to the villas and found them to be the most soothing. Better than the ocean. The private cabana and overall decor made the landscape perfect for relaxation. Now, if you want a bit more action, you can take a golf cart over to the main lobby and dip in one of the many pools there as well. Or, if you prefer the ocean, go for it. Unfortunately, this is the first island I’ve visited that I did not get in the ocean, at all. I wasn’t impressed with the quality of the water. In fact, it felt very much like South Beach which is another poor excuse of a beach. The seaweed in Punta Cana is unreal. That’s the first problem. You literally will have to step over a barrier wall of seaweed that is several feet high off the ground and expands the length of the beach. Not only is this an eyesore, it smells like the pits of someone’s gut. As if that’s not enough this isn’t the Caribbean Sea folks! Don’t make the mistake of believing it is picturesque. It’s the Atlantic Ocean and you know what that means…South Beach! It’s not a pretty sight (certified beach snob here). Punta Cana can’t compete with the clear waters of the likes of Cayman and other Caribbean islands. Point blank period.

So, stick to the pool to which my only gripe is they close early as hell. Around 7 or 8 pm. which is the ideal time for a dip!


The resort is all-inclusive and the food is decent. You can find a variety of options between both properties. You really need to just reserve ahead of time. The alcoholic drinks are so-so and the bottled water is a must. Do not take the risk and drink the water here. Check out what happens when you drink the water in Punta Cana.

Vegetarians, meat eaters, sushi lovers, and all in between can find a meal to fit their palette.

about that water

It’s a problem! Listen, drink at your own risk. Punta Cana can give Flint a run for its money on the waterfront. The bottled water won’t save you entirely either because the food is prepped in unfiltered water. I don’t care what they tell you, the water is the only common denominator for us who took ill. Even the ice isn’t kosher. Needless to say, a blissful experience turned into a shitty experience real quick.

solo female travel tips

When traveling solo as a female it can often seem like the Caribbean is a safe haven and the resorts add to this myth. While everyone is hanging loose and engaging in care-free behavior, it can be easy to forget your common sense and street smarts. That said, be sure to stay alert and use your brain while traveling. Sure, most resorts are looking out for their guests. But when you step outside that resort, you need to know you’re an easy target and your movement should be one that keeps you aware of your surroundings. Don’t make silly mistakes you’d never do at home. Like allowing strangers to escort you to the ATM. Or, drifting off with locals to remote places.

On another note…

We all know DR (like many islands) has a THOT reputation where some men play in a cesspool of women and leave their seeds all around the world, some of which are never found again. But it’s not just the women who are accessible. The men are about this life as well. So, if hook-ups and wild sexual excursions are your thing while traveling, be careful! Protect yourself. I hear its best to bring your OWN condoms and rapid AIDS kit(s) with you.

travel tips

Avoid the drinking water! It’s hard to do when the food is prepped with unfiltered water but to the extent you can, avoid it. Even when brushing your teeth.

If you can get a prescription for antibiotic (Cirpoflaxcin works wonders) do it! Make sure your immune system is ready for the bacteria waiting to feast on you. Also, carry something for traveler’s diarrhea. Seriously! They had a ton at the resort because they knew what would happen to you while visiting the lovely island of Poopy Punta Cana. Some Imodium or Pepto Bismol (which I’m allergic to) will be your best friend.

Lastly, Punta Cana is boring so book at a resort that has enough activities that you won’t have to leave the property. After about 48 hours I was ready to carry on elsewhere.

The Reserve at Paradisus

If I were to go back to Punta Cana (I’m not) I’d definitely stay at this resort again and recommend you stay if headed to the Dominican Republic.

Enjoy the pictures!

The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real


  1. “The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real” is a total gem! Upon arrival you are not disappointed as the decor, vibe and feel of the resort meets the modern boutique luxury five star standard as advertised. Our suite met expectations with plenty of room for my two young sons, my wife and me. And the refrigerator was always filled with beverages, etc. Maid service was exceptional as we never had a complaint regarding cleanliness. Turn down service with chocolates – love it! The furnishings, dining room, wonderful bathroom – everything was simply done right and to our standards. And the private hot tub on the balcony was a hit for the kids. Service across the board was above average – totally surprising and much appreciated.

    Of note, be very careful of the representative assigned to you upon arrival who takes you on a brief tour of the resort and eventually to your room. This person is mainly pursuing your agreement to attend a timeshare meeting. Oh yes, the dreaded timeshare sales pitch! Frankly, I shut that down before they could even get deep into a full blown one-on-one presentation. Would you believe that all the promises he initially made regarding making reservations for us, checking on our stay to ensure we’re comfortable, blah blah blah – all of that disappeared when I killed the sales opportunity? It most certainly did because we hardly ever saw that representative again – and when we did, it was a quick “hello” and gone. Listen, we were highly capable of making our restaurant reservations with the concierge desk – and so that’s what we did! This guy didn’t even tell us about the complimentary hydrotherapy at the spa which was included as an amenity (guest of Paradisus Palma Real – which is separate from “The Reserve” have to pay for this service). We found out midway through our vacation via concierge services but once we learned of it we were up in there DAILY! For real! Aside from this again I must say that service was exceptional. We simply laughed this off.

    Be sure to make your dinner reservations timely for the restaurants. You have full access to the regular resort too, but we did most of our eating at “The Reserve” property. Overall the food was decent and the buffet breakfast and lunch had the standard American fare you’d expect. Mizu and Aqua kept us coming back for more, but as I said be sure to make those reservations quickly.

    Though I strongly recommend this resort for the most discerning travelers, if you’re a lover of the beach – which is the primary reason I get on a plane to go to the Caribbean – you will be greatly disappointed. Of all the islands we’ve ever visited I can’t remember encountering more seaweed than in Punta Cana, DR. It is totally ridiculous! I’m telling you it was all over us! I didn’t get on a plane with my family and spend this money to come to the Caribbean and swim in a pool, I came to enjoy the beach!!! Thank goodness the pool was delightful and relaxing. This is where we spent most of our time. The few times we went to the beach we just laid out on designated chairs for “The Reserve” guest. One thing, they most certainly make you feel important as a guest of “The Reserve.” You’re always known by the required wristlet.

    So if you’re a lover of the beach and want to visit the Caribbean, try Turks & Caicos, Anguilla, St. Maarten, Aruba, Jamaica, Bahamas, Antigua, Barbados – I can attest to the fact that you’ll love these islands for their beaches among other things. But if you can get past the seaweed drama and thwart the timeshare trap…..this resort is one that must be experienced!

    • Denzil, thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your comment! You’re spot on with your points about The Reserve. I had many of the same experiences. I just came back from Turks & Caicos and agree with you wholeheartedly about the beach destinations you suggested. The beaches in DR were definitely not poppin’ and I’m glad they had all those private swimming pools otherwise my stay may have been shortened. Keep in touch and look out for my upcoming blog post about my experience in Providenciales…

Hey, drop me a line...