very delayed Grand Palladium Punta Cana Review (very long and heavy with pics)
Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:48 PM
I have to start off by saying; half of this...ok more than 90% of my ideas for my entire wedding wouldnâ€™t have been done without this site or most of you girls on here. So a big thanks to everyoneâ€™s amazing ideas and inspirations. Big shout out to the girls on April 2010 Brides and Married or getting married at Grand Palladium, I wouldnâ€™t have survived without you girls!!!
We got to the resort on Saturday and our wedding was on Tuesday (we were actually suppose to legally be there on Thursday, 3 business days before the wedding but the WC was real nice to break a few rules) Our guest arrived the same day as us a few were there 2 days before us, which was just fine by us... they told us which restaurant was good and which wasnâ€™t, and where everything was! We had 25 guest plus us. It was difficult to spend time with your entire guest list. I felt we spent more time with some and not enough time with others. During the day most the time people would do their own thing and weâ€™d hang out with whoever we saw first, while we always would see a guest or 2 walking by they usually had plans (still a good thing, felt like people were having fun and didnâ€™t need babysitting) dinner time I felt was the most hardest to try and get everyone together, impossible! Everyone has different times they prefer to eat at. So we end up always eating with the same crowd, while missing out on others. Because of this it was always hard to get people together after dinner for a drink or a show. But it all worked out in the end, we did get to spend time with everyone. All of the guest had a blast the entire week they were there, and want to return to the same resort in the near future!!! Now Iâ€™ll get on with the review....
Our guest stayed on the Punta Cana side while we booked the Royal side, so Iâ€™ll do a review for both sides in case you want to book just the Punta Cana (Bavaro or Palac) itâ€™ll be very long, entire review including resort and wedding, with pics!!!!
Rooms: Royal section....we booked the deluxe suite (or Romance Deluxe) for 2 weeks. We feel in love with this room the second we walked in, it was huge!!! Had a full bathroom with a vapour shower with jets on each side, even had 2 chairs in it. A memory foam bed and a pillow menu you can pick your pillows from (memory foam pillow was the best) four post bed. 24 hour room service and a little window they pass the food through so you never have it back in there and hit the switch. It was royal service all the way!!!!
This room has 2 plasma T.V which was perfect to watch T.V on the couch, and when we got tired weâ€™d just head to bed and throw the T.V on the bed side on for awhile. Huge bonus for being in the Caribbean, there wasnâ€™t even 1 bug in our room the whole 2 weeks we were there!!!
We canâ€™t go there now without getting this room... we were definitely spoiled a little too much!!!
Punta Cana Side: Everyone got a deluxe room (the standard one) some blocks had the bath tub in the room while some others had them in a full bathroom. I admit the ones in the room made the room smaller, but no one complaint....everyone loved their room. Everyoneâ€™s room had a mini fridge in them and would get stocked everyday (except for my parents room for some odd reason, but theyâ€™d just get what they needed before heading to their room at the bar)
A few of our guest had problems with the battier in their safe, but a call to the front desk, and itâ€™d get fixed promptly.
If you get a room here Iâ€™m warning you now, be careful of stubbing your toe on the door stopper in the bathroom!!! Everyone got hurt 1 time or another with this during the week.
(Punta Cana side deluxe room)
Food & Service: This resort is just so amazing for the amount of options they have. 3 Buffets, 4 if you include the royal gourmet. They have 7 a la carts from Chinese, Japanese even Spanish, and a Tex Mex. All the food was amazing at every restaurant. Not one complaint from 25 people. There was always something for someone. Our favourite buffet was cathedral in the Bavaro lobby bar, huge buffet with so many options to pick from. The buffets have a theme night different one each night, but every buffet have the same theme night on the same night. So if you didnâ€™t want to do Mexican one night your best bet would be to go to an a la cart restaurant. The only long line we waited in was for the Japanese, we went there at 4:45 when they open their doors at 6pm, but we got seated right away and got the show table (a show not to miss, he throws eggs in his hat, the whole nine yards!!) if you donâ€™t eat that early, still wait in line to make a reservation for anytime youâ€™d prefer. If you are part of the royal section all you have to do is ask your butler to make reservations for whatever restaurant you want that night (this has to be done before 12pm except you canâ€™t make reservations for your guest, this is why we waited in line) the second week when we could have made reservation since we were alone, we still didnâ€™t because it wasnâ€™t necessary, no line ups... always got served right away. The times we didnâ€™t, we got pager and just headed for a drink until the light came on. Perfect set up!!! (We only had to have 1 pager in 14 days, because we were 17 of us that night)
Donâ€™t forget each restaurant is closed once during the week, Monday itâ€™s the Spanish restaurant closed but open for the rest of the week, and so forth.
Royal Gourmet: This was by far the best restaurant we ate at. We are very disappointed we only got to use this restaurant on our second week (since only royal members are allowed here). But at least we got to use it. We went there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They have a buffet plus an a la cart menu you can order from. The menuâ€™s never changed though, which means it just gave a chance to try everything on the menu. The steak was to die for... just thinking of it now makes my mouth water. Yes the buffet was small but had so many choices to pick from.
The service was definitely royal 100% of the time. We never waited to be seated at this restaurant. The service on this entire resort was amazing, whether it was to get a drink or to eat every server was great, no complaints from anyone!!! I canâ€™t stress enough how excited we are to return (and we never return to the same resort as we like to try something new each time, we found our home here though)
(Tex Mex restaurant)
Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:23 PM
(dessert from the royal side...yummmmm)
Grounds, Pools, Beach: The grounds are stunning, so many flowers everywhere, rich trees and all sorts not just palm trees!! The grass is a beautiful green. You have walk ways which the tops are made out of branches, truly makes you feel youâ€™re in the Caribbean. Everywhere you walk you see gardeners working hard threw out the day, theyâ€™ll chop you down a coconut if you ask, they will also try to sell you a hat they made out of leaves, for $5, itâ€™s great if you want to wear it during the week but I donâ€™t think you can bring it back.
The Royal section was stunning, they have the older section and the new section (the side we were on) the old section is where the swim up bar is, you have water fountains and the lobby on this side. While the new section had swim up rooms, lazy pools all around so if you had the bottom floor you could go on your balcony and jump into the pool.
Weâ€™re arenâ€™t pool people really since we have tons back home so we tend to stick to the beach, however with 25 guest you tend to do things you normally wouldnâ€™t do (which was amazing and full of fun!!) we mostly hung out on the Punta Cana side pool, there is a swim up bar here (they also have a swim up on the Palac and Bavaro as well) it was a lot of fun with the work outâ€™s in the pool and bingo, the staff really got you involved, but if you just wanted to watch they wouldnâ€™t harass you!!
The pool on the royal old section with the swim up bar was fun, more quiet on this side, but you have tons of chairs, also chairs inside the pool no games, just peaceful! And saving the best for last, the beach is just stunning. Miles and miles worth of beach and sand, you can walk for hours in either direction. No coral, no rocks or seashells on the beach to hurt you feet. Just lots of sand and beautiful turquoise colour water. My favourite part is the palm trees that decorate the beach area. My only warning about this resort is donâ€™t sit next to the dive center where you can go on the banana boat (which I suggest doing, tons of fun for $10 p/p) all you smell is the gas from the speed boats. Still not that big of deal since this resort is so big you get tons of beach space there is always plenty of places to sit. We never had any issues getting chairs at the beach or pool.
(the straw hat they make you)
(don't forget to get a cocnut!!)
(swim up rooms on the royal section)
Finally the best part of the whole 2 weeks, our wedding!! Iâ€™ll start off by saying... we got to the resort on Saturday (our wedding was on Tuesday) when in â€˜Dominican ruleâ€™ you must be there 3 business days before you wedding if youâ€™re doing a legal wedding (which we were) however the WC was very kind to give us a break and allow us to come later. If you donâ€™t have to do this, I suggest not doing it, go the 3 business days before the ceremony. Itâ€™ll give you and the WC a lot more time to plan whatever it is you want (I.E, the way you want the ceremony set up or how youâ€™d like it to be performed, reception, ECT).
Wedding coordinator: Our WC was Carolina; she was friendly and very welcoming. During our planning she was quick to reply to our emails, always answered our question. Never made we feel confused or unsure of anything. You are supposed to be at the resort 3 business days before a legal ceremony. But Carolina was amazing to give us a break and allow us to show up 1 business day before the wedding (we arrived Saturday, wedding was Tuesday. We met her on Sunday, but forgot to bring all of our stuff with us; I thought itâ€™d be ok since weâ€™d have 2 meetings with her. But we only had 1 (we only needed 1 meeting) so she said to leave our stuff at our lobby (so I left the wedding stuff in 2 carry-on luggage Monday morning) my only request was to have 3 tables and a head table for the reception dinner. Of course I forgot to mention this at our meet, but it was ok I left instruction in the bags. The only problem was she was only able to pick up our bags 30 mins before our ceremony, so there was no time to make the tables I wanted, instead got one long table (turned out nice, intimate and personal) She even got all my scavenger hunt list I made for each guest and put the cameras, centerpieces and candles on the table without me evening mentioning it. Thatâ€™s how amazing she really is. I did mention at the meeting I wanted our first dance at the ceremony, but forgot to tell her I wanted the cake cutting there as well. But it worked out; our photographer came back to our restaurant to get the group photo shot, so was able to get the cake cutting. Our meeting was real quick, she took out books for the bouquets, cakes, and 2 menus, 1 for the reception and 1 for breakfast in bed the next morning. I also added the beach party to our list. I really didnâ€™t have to tell her anything, I left the cd`s for the BM`s to walk down, music for the guest being seated, us walking back, ect... I made sure to make a cd for each song (or period of time) and labelled it so the DJ knew exactly what was going on, there were a few pauses but not a big deal.
We only paid for everything days after the wedding at our lobby. We gave Carolina and the servers during dinner their tips that night. We did have to pay for the flowers right away, I upgraded my bouquet for $35, DH `bout was included and so we got the BM, his dad and my dad, and 2 corsages for our momâ€™s. Flowers were $95. I really couldnâ€™t have asked for a better WC, I am so happy with our decision. I canâ€™t stress enough how much this woman works for you, to assure your happy!!!!
Make sure to assign someone to be responsible to gather your stuff after the dinner, like your sand ceremony kit, cake cutting server, cake topper. A lot of girls didnâ€™t get their stuff back... someone had their sand ceremony go missing (I brought mine back when I got changed for the beach party), I didnâ€™t get 1 carry-on luggage back though and only got half of my candle holders back No big deal to me though.
She was just so amazing, she did one heck of a job I really couldnâ€™t have ask for anything more. I certainly couldnâ€™t have asked for a better wedding coordinator, she completely put me at ease and she definitely exceed my expectation and more!!!
(the flowers I chose for my bouquest, which was an upgrade)
(corsage's for the mommy's)
Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:39 PM
(the mens 'bouts)
Ceremony: was suppose to be at 2:30, but at the time of our meeting she couldn’t get a hold of the judge and there was 2 times I’d either get, 2:30 or 6 so she ask me what time I would prefer. I said 6. Thank god because it rained at 2:30 and was nice (cloudy) for 6pm.
She called me to let me know someone would be picking us up, so we waited at the front of our building, pick up was on time and quick. We used the new gazebo to get married, it had a lot more privacy then the beach set up (there are no guards to keep people away) the gazebo was perfect since you can still see the ocean in the back round.
The judge was waiting for me at the gazebo, while Carolina was at the front entrance where the cart dropped us off. She let us know what was going on, and when to start walking; by the time I got there she was already standing next to the judge to translate the ceremony into English. The judge was sweet, quick and real nice. Pleasure to work with for 15 mins. We signed the papers, he shock our hands to congratulate us and left. We then moved on to the sand ceremony, SIL did this for us (so nice of her since she has stage fright and she did an amazing job!!!) this was quick as well, she did her reading I gave her, we poured our sand in the glass heart vase, she also congratulated us. Carolina got the DJ to play our excite song, once we got down from the gazebo we had a glass of champagne and did our first dance there. We then headed to the beach for photo’s while the guest headed to the restaurant (exactly why I wanted later so the guest didn’t have nothing to do for XX amount of hours) Once we were done we headed to the restaurant, the guest didn’t wait long for us. We did our group shot here, and the cake cutting as well.
(this is the new gazebo we chose to get married in)
I will return shortly to finish it off!!!
Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:45 PM
Wow! What a great and detailed review!!!!! Thanks for sharing. Everything looked beautiful! Your room was gorgeous!!!!!
Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:08 PM
Reception/Food: We had our semi private reception at La Uva, which so happens to be right next to the new gazebo and right behind where they hold the beach party. So the location was perfect. I chose the chicken; pasta with potato’s however it turned out to be 1 mixture, not separated. It really wasn’t that good in my opinion lol. Half the guest liked it the other half did not. I suggest for goes for everything but this, I’ve got some feed back on other girls who chose a different menu, and they loved it!!
The service was amazing, like at a real wedding reception hall, they waited at our table to put up and finish plate, they were friendly and kind. No one had an empty plate for more then 2 seconds before it was picked up. Our glass would get filled every time we were a sip away from finishing.
They had our cake table here as well off to the side of our long table. It was very pretty. The restaurant had a rustic romantic feeling to it. It was so perfect!!!! But it doesn’t matter what restaurant you get, I’ve been to them all, each one has a nice different feeling to them, and the menu you chose will be from all different resto’s so you really can pick any place to hold the reception.
(not the best photo's but to give an idea what the table looked like and you can see the girl in the white shirt by me..she never left my side!!)
Beach Party: We decided to go for the private beach party after the reception to give the feeling of a wedding, even though we were so far away from home. I recommend having one; it was the most fun any of our guest had at any wedding. (Even other DW they’ve been too) We hired a do from the resort which was $250, we brought CDs and an Ipod, he played the Cds so bring them in case…I just mixed the CDs. He was a great DJ but couldn’t speak English. In the end it work out as my SIL took over and did the MC (she was an absolute blast and definitely made the party) The party includes an open bar with a bar tender and server, they were so much fun and even danced with us… all the guest loved them, none of us had an empty drink, not even for a second. The price is $9 p/p. Worth every single penny.
This is where we did our mother/son and father/daughter dance, as well as the bouquet toss and garter toss (another main reason I wanted the party....I still wanted all that to be a part of our wedding)
We had two pillars on each side of the entrance, 2 long tables with chairs, and a huge spot light on top of a tree for plenty of lighting.
The perfect party, nothing will ever compare again!
(hot hot bar tender dancing with me....hey I'm still allowed to look!
the yellow hut is where the DJ is)
Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:09 PM
(can see but the backround was the ocean, so when we got to hot we all dunk our feet in there)
Well I am sorry for read your eyes off!!!! I hope this was helpful and if you have any questions, or concerns please PM me or just reply!!
(OMG this is finally done, and I now can move on lol )
Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:22 PM
Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:34 PM
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