While Punta Cana is not traditionally seen as a luxury destination, Melia’s Jaime Piedras hopes to see that perception changed as travellers get to know The Grand Reserve at Paradisus by Melia, which recently opened at the resort chain’s complex on Bavaro Beach.
PAX spoke with Piedras, general manager of The Grand Reserve, during the GM’s recent visit to Canada to learn more about the new property and how it will change Punta Cana’s tourism sector.
“We have a double challenge – it’s a brand-new hotel and a new brand,” he said. “The Grand Reserve right now is the highest level. We’re targeting high-end guests and in some markets, Punta Cana is not seen as a high-end market; we’re trying to break the rules.”
A look at The Grand Reserve
The all-suite property features 288 rooms (available in one- and two-bedroom configurations) ranging in size from 800 square feet to 3,000 square feet, each featuring living/dining areas plus a secluded balcony with hydro-massage whirlpool tub. All ground-floor suites are swim-up, Piedras added, where guests can enjoy a ‘floating breakfast.’
Guests can choose from 14 restaurants and bars, including a steakhouse with open kitchen and a sushi bar, while guests looking for even more dining choices can take advantage of the property’s “stay at one & play at three” promotion, which provides guests of The Grand Reserve with complete access to neighbouring Melia properties The Reserve and Paradisus Palma Real, offering 15 restaurants, YHI Spa and YHI Oriental Garden, along with five pools.
The property also introduced two brand-new concepts to the Melia chain, Piedras said: these include MAIA Signature Spa, offering 14 treatment rooms; and Black Oak, a modern take on a classic cigar bar with premium cigars, liqueurs and artisanal cocktails.
Active guests can visit the Circle Studio Gym and take part in WOGA (water yoga) and for kids of all ages, the Blast! AquaFun water park provides hours of fun, offering several waterslides and aquatic play structures.
At your service
Maintaining high levels of service is a key priority at The Grand Reserve, Piedras said, explaining that in addition to operating the property at approximately 60 per cent capacity, 600 staff are on hand to ensure that the needs of every guest are covered.
Piedras adds that while the property is an all-inclusive, “it’s not a selling point for us; guests choose to come to us because we offer the best of the best.”
As part of a plastic-free initiative, The Grand Reserve also gives every guest a wristband that acts as a room key, with a program in the works that will allow parents to use the wristbands to keep track of their kids around the property.
While The Grand Reserve is located 700 metres away from the beach, a private path provides direct access to a private beach club and can be traversed on foot or via bicycle or electric golf cart.
And although large-scale meetings and events are held at Melia’s neighbouring properties in the complex, Piedras said that The Grand Reserve can easily accommodate smaller corporate events, such as a board of directors meeting.
Travel agents interested in learning more about the property, or to inquire about future FAM opportunities, can contact Piedras at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!