Punta Cana ALL ABOUT SERVICE The little touches count

Punta Cana ALL ABOUT SERVICE The little touches count

Punta Cana is no longer just a beach resort area. With 100,000 residents, it isn’t quite a city, but the way it is growing it soon will be. Bavaro itself is a centre with shopping malls, fast-food stores, drug stores, and banks. The first supermarket was greeted with cheers from the people who had arrived to buy condos, now there are more. There are also some fine restaurants, and bars.

There are over 70 resorts for you to choose from. Tough choices.
Your clients will know of Melia hotels international brand if they’ve been to Cuba, where they have more than 27 resorts, but perhaps they may not know them as well in other sun destinations.
That’s a shame, because they do an excellent job. There are 374 hotels in 40 countries, on four continents, operating under the brands Melia, Gran Melia, ME by MELIA, Paradisus, Innside by Melia, Tryp by Wyndham, Sol Hotels and Club Melia.
This is a Spanish hotel chain which was founded by Gabriel Escarrer Julia in 1956 in Palma de Mallorcea.
Punta Cana is the home of the Paradisus Palma Real. A resort of casual elegance. It is divided into sections - Standard, Royal, Concierge, and Reserve.
We were in the Royal Section, and Royal indeed it was. Our welcome letter from Conrad Bergwerf managing director set the tone of the visit.
He said, ‘’Welcome to the culture of service Pure Freedom to Just Be. May the experience begin!’’
And began it did. We were most impressed. The Royal Service lounge was simply spectacular and the biggest one I’ve seen. We were greeted by department heads and charming Sandra Blum the hotel manager.
There was a Continental breakfast, hors d’oeuvres, tea time, a premium bar. In the same building is Palazzo the exclusive Italian Restaurant for Royal Service guests. We had lunch here several times and dinner once … that’s how good it was.
The adult’s section is tucked in the centre of the property, and our room was convenient to everything. The adult’s pool was deep (I’m 5’3) so I needed my floaty to just hang in the water, but I heard guests saying it was a nice change, to the shallow ones they normally visit.
Very close was the beautiful Bavaro beach, and Royal Service guests had a separate area with Palapas and Bali beds. Wanda was the star bartender at the Royal Service bar, quick, efficient, friendly, and very patient. Towels, bug spray, books to borrow, even sunscreen lotion was on a cupboard beside the pool.
The grounds are beautiful.
Gabi Beach is, the place to be in the day-time and a well-attended club by night. It is nice to see the beach lively at night.
The exclusive YHI Spa included the Water Ritual and Wellness area for royal service guests. The luxury spa with the Asian theme has indoor and outdoor treatment rooms and an outdoor relaxing pool. Treatments, of course, are an extra cost, but a walk through their Zen gardens outside the spa, and a chance to watch the pink flamingoes is included. They have a second Spa where I had a manicure and pedicure.
There is unlimited golf, and a shuttle to the Cocotal Golf and Country Club.
Your clients want to be very active? Lots to do here from kick boxing to Pilates, and everything in between. The paddle board yoga was a new one on me. Looked like great fun and a good workout.
Of course, there were complaints, the biggest as always was the vacation club sales people. You might want to caution your clients about this. Another gripe was not all the rooms have been renovated yet … and oh! the horror of having a room with mahogany furniture! Everybody we spoke to loved the fast and free WIFI.
European guests were thrilled with opportunity to dine at Passion! This is a restaurant starring Chef Martin Berasategui who has been awarded with 7 Michelin stars and named ‘’Best contemporary Chef of 2015” by TripAdvisor. Surcharges apply. Canadians were startled by the price, Europeans who knew the name were thrilled the price was so much more reasonable than back home.
There are plenty of a la carte choices. We loved Rare - Tom’s steak was rare enough to suit him, my ribs fell off the bone. Vento is Mediterranean cuisine.
Bana is a Teppanyaki and Sushi Bar, while Mizu has an Asian menu with Teppanyaki show. Fuego is Latin fusion with a twist from Peruvian cuisine.
Sandra Blum kindly took the time to have lunch with me, and answer lots of questions. Originally from Germany, she worked on large cruise ships for 15 years, before heading for the Mayan and the resort business.
Now she and her husband and 15-year-old son have settled in to Punta Cana.
"it’s the little touches, the service" she says passionately.
And yes, they are certified for Indian weddings.
Tom was most impressed by our Butler, Alek … best we’ve ever had. Why? Because Alek asked what our expectations were of him. Some people don’t want a lot of attention, some people do. After determining his wants, he customized his services.
Yes, it was the service!

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