|Location: North Coast
|City: Puerto Plata
||Value for money: Above average
||Decor: Above average
Feb.2 - 16/2007
We booked with Signature Vacations and flew with Canjet out of Halifax N.S.Our flight was a little long.Boarded the plane at 2:10pm....was supposed to leave at 2:30 but we waited till 3:00pm for a guy who thought that everyone except him needed proper documentation.Got in the air at 3:15pm and due to strong headwinds had to stop in Nassau to refuel.Landed in Puerto Plata at 10:20 pm and arrived at Fun Royale at 11:30pm.The flight was smooth,seats were comfortable and the meal was good.
As we were the only 2 people to get off at this hotel,check-in was quick and smooth.
This was our 6th trip to the Fun Royale so when we arrived at our room there was a fruit tray,bottle of rum and flowers to welcome us as repeat guests.A very nice touch after such a long trip.
Our room was in Building "B" by our request.It had new vanity faucet,shower head and plenty of towels and face cloths.There was a hair dryer,a wicker basket with shampoo,conditioner and sewing kit (I didn't need the sewing kit,if I can't fix it with duct tape or staples,throw it out.)There were new pictures on the wall and the Mattresses were new.The room had been painted recently and the balcony was very large.
The bedding and towels were changed daily.The room was swept and mopped daily and kept extremely clean.
The air conditioner worked great and after you got used to it you don't notice the night owls going back to their rooms at late hours.
The hotel grounds are kept in impeccable condition.You can see someone cleaning,sweeping or raking at all times of the day.
There are 3 pools.The activity pool with a swim up bar is the main pool.I can't comment on the activities as we spent all our days at the beach.There is a quiet pool by the 24 hour bar and a childrens pool by the Brasilian restaurant.
There is a small gym with a sauna,mini golf ( 7 holes with putters that are way too short),horseback riding,shuffle board,ping pong,Spanish lessons,darts,pool table (extra cost),soccer ,aerobics,water polo and what surprised me the most was 1 hour daily of banana boat rides at the beach (which I did not see anyone using in our 2 weeks there).If it weren't for the problem I having with my shoulder I would have been on that banana boat ride daily.
I have to say that the washrooms by the stage area are in bad need of refurbishment and should be done over immediately.These are used by everyone in the public areas (except for the people at the swim up bar).
There is a Managers cocktail party each Tuesday and I certainly enjoyed the Duggans Scotch served there by Leandro the bar manager.There is also a repeaters party every 2nd Friday.
The main buffet overlooks the 18th fairway of the golf course.The food was even better this year than other years we were there.They had roast turkey,roast pork,roast beef ,steak,lamb,goat and various other meats.The buffet was so good this year that it was my 1st time in 6 years that I did not get anything at the pasta bar.
As usual the desserts were to die for.
The Brasilian Restaurant was a HUGE improvement to me.I hadn't eaten there in our previous 4 visits.I had read about so many people who really enjoyed this restaurant that we thought we would try it again.WHAT a huge improvement.The meats they served were fantastic.
The Italian restaurant was very good as well,although I think they could stand to have a better selection of Italian cuisine.
The beach grill was very good.We had lunch there every day.The rotisserie chicken was very good ( a little too many spices on the skin for me) .They always had fish,hamburgers and hot dogs as well.My only complaint here is I'm not a big french fry lover but they don't serve any rice or other potato there.The fruit served at the beach grill was minimal as I didn't see any bananas there in my 2 weeks and pineapple and mango was minimal.
Ana the Beach Club Manager does a terrific job of making sure your lunch is an enjoyable experiance.She takes English lessons in Puerto Plata (she lives in Sosua) and takes pride in being able to talk to her English patrons.
Juan the bartender, makes a mean Banana Mama when he has bananas there to make the real ones (I always picked up a couple of bananas from Breakfast to take to him).
The beach was fantastic.There is some coral in the water in front of the Beach Club,but if you walk to the left past where the boats go back and forth,the water is terrific.
When you walk up the beach by Grand Ventana you will see a dramatic difference.they have hauled in tons and tons of sand.The beach from the Grand Vantana down past the Orange Market is even better than it was in our first year to Playa Dorada 1997.The Paradise Hotel finnaly has a beach and it is impressive.Where they used to have a boardwalk they have filled in about 200 feet of sand.As you go past there the Dorado Club and Playa Naco probably have the best beach in Playa Dorada now.
The Playa Dorada Mall is about a 15 minute walk.Here you can find just about anything you want to purchase,although if you want to walk to the Orange Market (about a 35 minute walk via the beach) you can bargain and get much better pricing.I bought my Anejo Rum there for 280 pesos.This is up in price from our last trip.I am told the government has imposed more taxes and Brugal has increased their price.It is still cheaper than we can buy it here on P.E.I.
We took a lot of Hersheys Kisses chocolate with us which we passed out to the grounds workers,maids,security,golf course workers,staff at the beach (including the guys that clean up the beach) and workers in the mall.The workers in the mall called me The Candy Man.
What we liked
The staff are the key to this resort as they always have a smile and a hola for you.It starts at the top with the Managing Director Mario Matanna and goes down to the grounds workers.These people care about all of us (the vacationers).They really enjoy their jobs and it shows.
At the Managers cocktail party I noticed that the upper management has not changed in the past 4 years with the exception of the Bar manager (due to a tragic death).I did notice a change in bar tenders (I'm not sure where some of them went) but the waiters at the restaurants seemed to be the same.
The chicken served at the beach grill was fantastic.
The Brasilian Restaurant was certainly the most improved.
The wine served at the buffet (Calypso) was improved big time.
I know some people complain about the lack of bacon at breakfast. We had bacon 5 days a week and that suited me fine as the sausages were very good (much better than previous years).
What we didn't like
My first complaint is the pizza.The quality has gone down BIG TIME.The crust is too thick and not cooked enough.
I love Presidente beer but they put Bohemia in the mini fridge. Now I don't hate Bohemia but it was in cans and I don't like canned beer.
At night the entertainment starts with the kids show at 9:00pm.This is way too late for small children to participate as most of them would be in bed at this time.They need to start this at 8:00pm.
The shows that are put on each night by the staff are OK,considering they have to work a full day at entertaining people,then try to have enough energy to do a show.That being said they do a terrific job.
In my opinion they should have a live band playing. Last year we went to Punta Cana and the resort we were at had a band playing after the kids were on till the show started and then they played after the show for about 45 min. I know we went all 14 nights and thoroughly enjoyed the evenings.
Would we go back.
We are already planning our 7th trip to the Fun Royale next year.
We would like to thank BOB FROM CANADA for leaving us a Care Package in our room (he was there the 2 weeks before us) it was Greatly Appreciated.We hope to see you there next year Bob.
We would like to thank Mario Mattana (Managing Director of the Fun Royale/Tropical) and all of his staff for making our vacation so enjoyable.That is the reason we return year after year, it is truely our HOME AWAY FROM HOME.
Greg and Heather MacDonald
Prince Edward Island
|Author E-Mail: [email protected]
||Review date: 02/25/2007
|The toilets by the stage have been refurbished, same marble finish as the ones at the beach grill, quite impressive, apart from the lack of water from some taps, pools towels were a bit worn if you didn't get there first.
We visited in late August 2008, hot, humid and rained for 4 out of 10 days - all in all not bad.
Beach sports were in abundance and tried kayaking, which was excellent made my day, viewed loads of banana boat rides from the comfort of the beach. I was too late for windsurfing class and the sea was too rough for sailing - a real shame, but that's hurricane season for you.
Did not see any yogurt at dinner, but plenty at breakfast, same fruit each day - pineapple, papaya, galia orange melon, went to another hotel: thompson/tui whilst on an excursion and saw exactly the same food, just in larger quantities in plusher indoor surroundings, I do not travel often, but the hotel part was outdated and needs serious revamp, however I also stayed in the apartments and they were a true delight, apart from some of the tv reception, which varied from room to room. All in all, fantastic holiday, and would recommend to one and all.
||Posted at 17:46 09/19/2008
|I would like to correct a huge error on my part.The service we received at the Fun Royale was ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT.All of the staff went out of their way to make us feel most welcome.
My sincere appologies to the staff at the Fun Royale for my oversight.
|Author: Greg MacDonald
||Posted at 15:30 02/26/2007