In early March, I was very fortunate to be invited by the Palladium Hotel Group to visit their hotels in the Dominican Republic.
I stayed over at the Travelodge at Gatwick Airport. This is an off-site hotel but both terminals are quickly and easily reached. A taxi takes five minutes and costs £13. There is also a hotel shuttle bus that takes ten minutes and costs £3. Its route takes in the North Terminal, Premier Inn, Travelodge, Courtyard by Marriott and the South Terminal.
On arrival at Punta Cana, the initial security and passport control was quick, especially as there was various security and COVID documentation to be checked. Our luggage took a bit of time to arrive but I think they had a technical fault on the system.
Once the luggage was collected and all security passed, locating the driver for our transfer was relatively easy. On exiting, there are lots of transfer companies - some with individual names, others with hotel names and some with the transfer companies' names. I recommend you know in advance which transfer company to look out for or where they are situated. This information is usually on your transfer document that I provide.
The minivan was very comfortable and air conditioned, and the journey was interesting and scenic as we made our way to TRS Turquesa.
On arrival at the hotel, our driver gave our names to security at the gates so we could enter. We then drove up the long driveway and through the resort. The complex is quite large and feels like a private village.
It is home to four Palladium hotels, a dinner cabaret show, a sports pavilion and grounds, casino, shops, escape room, chocolate experience and a multitude of bars and restaurants.
We were greeted at the door of the hotel and our luggage was taken care of until we were given our room numbers. A welcome cocktail and cold towels were gratefully received.
The check-in procedure is like most other hotels – information on the resort, gathering passport details, etc, and at TRS Turquesa, this also included meeting your butler and checking your wish list for pillows and preferred drinks for your room.
I was shown to my room and my butler showed me around and explained the facilities, such as mini bar, steam iron, etc.
As it was nearly dark, I refrained from looking through the curtains as I wanted to see it in the light and ideally, if I woke on time, this would include seeing the sunrise. Needless to say it didn’t disappoint.
A quick change and off to dinner at one of the à la carte restaurants at TRS Turquesa. There are some super restaurants to choose from. After dinner and cocktails it was off to bed for an early start.
Breakfast at Helios was a perfect start to the day - so much choice!
And I love how there is live music in the restaurants.
The rest of the day was spent viewing various room types and the facilities that might best suit my clients.
WOW! They were superb! I particularly liked the swim up rooms where you can also have a floating breakfast!
One of the evenings was spent at CHIC, a cabaret show with dinner. It was very Cirque du Soleil in style. The dancers, singers and performers were outstanding and definitely worth the $35 for TRS guests.
There is an on-site chocolate shop that offers a wide selection of chocolate/ cocoa based products, including sun lotions and shower gels, and of course chocolate. I loved the chocolate experience where you learn about the history of chocolate and you learn how to make a bar too!
TRS Cap Cana
We also visited TRS Cap Cana - I really loved the resort. It is a much smaller hotel and very intimate - perfect for weddings.
That said, it has all the facilities associated with other TRS hotels: gym, spa, à la carte dining, butler and sports bar, to name but a few.
It has a small beach area but has a shuttle bus to a larger beach which is simply beautiful.
No visit to the Dominican is complete without a trip to Saona Island – the colours of the sea, the white sand beaches and that feeling of being on a tropical island. You can almost forget that there are lots of other people around.
They also serve the best piña colada in a fresh pineapple.
Back at the resort, we visited the three other Palladium hotels: Bavaro, Punta Cana and Palace. These are for families but are most definitely suitable for couples and groups of friends too.
Pay to use the spa circuit on your last day, especially if you have a late flight. That way you can relax and have access to shower facilities and it is cheaper than extending your room check out.
Would I recommend any of the five hotels I visited? Most definitely! And I will also return for my own holiday in the future, too.
It was a magical trip and epitomises all that is associated with the Caribbean - absolutely heavenly!
A huge thank you to Lady Palladium and the team at the Palladium Hotel Group.