Words by Amelia Bell
Surrounded by lofty palms and clear waters, this sprawling five-star resort right on the shore of the Dominican Republic offers postcard views of the Caribbean, unlike its coastal counterparts, however, Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa and Casino offers up a new kind of all-inclusive holiday. Bringing a refreshing twist to Punta Cana’s coastlines, a stay here is all about excellent service, quality cuisine and unique experiences that cater to every luxury traveller.
Located on one of the most beautiful, albeit busiest, coastlines, the hotel forms part of the larger Grand Palladium complex stretching for miles along the famous Bavaro beach. With unlimited access to all hotels and amenities, including Grand Palladium Bavaro Resort and Spa, Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort and Spa, eight à la carte restaurants, 18 bars and six buffets, you certainly won’t get bored of things to do. Highlights of which include The Zentropia Spa, a little sanctuary with Shiatsu treatment rooms, Turkish baths and hydromassage water zones, plus a well-equipped gym.
Hop on a buggy to explore the many restaurants and tropical pools, be it the adults-only pool at TRS hotel dotted with swaying palm trees and cabanas at every turn or the family-friendly spots right next to the kid’s club. Whether you fancy lounging on stretches of white sand, deep-sea diving with marine life or practicing yoga at sunrise, you can choose how you spend your days here.
Clean, modern and spacious, the rooms offer up a sleek aesthetic with all the amenities you’d expect from a five-star resort and more, including a flat-screen TV, loaded mini bar and cool colour pairings that work in harmony with the tropical surroundings. I stayed in a Junior Suite with a very large bed, lovely bathroom and stylish details.
The novelty of the swim-up pool never wore off, neither did the views looking out onto the sea. As for the decor, neutrals and natural textures lend a sophisticated and simplistic feel to the rooms but don’t compromise its luxurious finish. For a more exclusive experience and ideal for families, go for the Premium Junior Suite that has its own terrace, breakfast counter and hydro-massage baths.
All-inclusive cuisine often gets a bad rap, offering you the world but failing to deliver on quality. Yet here, there is quality and quantity with a host of different cuisines, from Spanish tapas to teppanyaki, buffets and à la carte service to choose from. Dishes include delicate tuna tartare, seafood ceviche and fresh fish at the cool Ibiza-style restaurant, Helios, overlooking the immaculate beach front or classic Spanish tapas paired with Cava wines at La Lola.
Sumptuori, perhaps the high point when it comes to gastronomy at Grand Palladium, offers up a fun evening with teppanyaki cooked at your table alongside fresh sashimi and sushi. Before dinner, Bar Hemingway, an elaborately decorated hall with a Great Gatsby vibe, also serves every spirit imaginable lined up like prizes on the back wall if you’re keen to sample a cocktail or two.
Known for its palm-fringed beaches, the eastern most tip of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is home to some of the world’s most breath-taking beaches and natural wonders like Saona Island, the protected nature reserve boasting crystal clear waters and sugar white sand, and Macao Beach, a prime spot for horse riding. Organise a day trip from the hotel and head to Saona Island by boat for fresh lobster, unspoilt views and an escape from the tourists monopolising the Bavaro beachfront.
Juanillo Beach is another seriously photogenic coastline boasting Instagram-filter views and nearby Cap Cana, the famous and exclusive hotel destination, is also worth exploring for a peek at colonial architecture and brightly coloured houses situated next to a pretty marina. Of course, Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa and Casino also has many activities for those wanting to stay within the complex. Learn all about the Dominican Republic’s history of chocolate making and cacao harvest, as well as making your own chocolate or try your hand at parasailing, snorkelling and windsurfing right on Bavaro Beach.
In a nutshell
If you’re a family or couple, you won’t be short of ways to spend your days here and it doesn’t get much more enticing than this picture-perfect Caribbean beach right on your doorstep.
British Airways Holidays offers five nights at Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa and Casino from £2,074 per person, based on two sharing a deluxe room on all-inclusive basis. This price includes return flights from London Gatwick on 28 August 2020.
Address: Avenida Francia s/n, Higüey 23000, Dominican Republic
Phone: 1 809-221-8149
Please gamble responsibly (18 UK) – check age restrictions before participating