The Palace at Playa Grande
What We Love
- Free shuttle rides (within a 15- to 20-minute radius of the property)
- Indulge in a full-body massage at the hotel’s spa
- Menus customized to each guest's taste
What To Know
- The resort caters to couples more than families, so activities are limited
- Swim-up bar service might not be available during slower months
- There are no in-room TVs or phones, but the property has free WiFi (though it can be spotty)
- The onsite beach is seasonal due to tide, and other beaches are a five-minute drive away, with shuttle service provided by the hotel
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
On the DR’s less-traveled North Coast, The Palace at Playa Grande is refreshing in more ways than one. With its small size (just 13 rooms in all), the property makes for an intimate escape. You’ll feel worlds away from this island nation’s megaresorts, with their requisite wristbands, buffet food and large-group activities.
Bed & Bath
The exclusive feel extends to the suites and rooms, where dark wood furnishings, bright silks, colorfully patterned throw rugs and gauzy white cotton textiles create a vibe inspired by India but still beachy. Escape is taken seriously: There are no TVs or telephones in the guest rooms. Here, the entertainment is just beyond your front door.
The executive chef puts together three meals a day for guests to enjoy in different locations around the resort. Menus are customized to each guest’s taste; ask for a picnic lunch, and you can dine with your toes in the sand. A small, private beach unfolds from the property (note: it’s seasonal depending on the tide), with larger beaches Playa Grande and El Caleton a short drive away. The resort offers many ways to explore the DR, including windsurfing within a 45-minute drive in nearby Cabarete — one of the Caribbean’s premier windsport spots. The staff will even set up a beachside bonfire just for you. Adjacent to the resort is the Playa Grande Golf Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and aptly known as the “Pebble Beach of the Caribbean.” Oh, and cocktail hour starts (where else?) at the pool’s swim-up bar.
How to Get There
My wife and I were incredibly fortunate to visit the Balaji Palace with Dr. Balaji himself. If the Palace wasn’t impressive enough we were treated to a “behind the scenes” tour as well as an education of how this masterpiece evolved from a dream to fruition. As impressive as the pictures and stories are; they still don’t do this place justice. It’s very difficult to explain the amount of details went into creating this mystical enclave. It’s built in a secluded tropical environment with modern day conveniences but with a flare for classy Indian architecture and decor.
The smallest room we saw would be considered a master suite by any domestic hotel standard. We were fortunate to stay in one of the “cliff suites” (pictured from the water in picture #2) and I’m still confused on how they were able to physically build it. This property is 9 stories high from the beach to the top floor of the palace, including verandas, mezzanines and the cliff suites. The Balaji Palace is irreplaceable.
My wife counted a dozen fresh flowers in our room upon check-in which didn’t include all of the rose pedals used to spell “love” on our bed. There’s not a detail overlooked!
The beach and water is great (although snorkeling could be a bit of a challenge; watch out for the large waves). The resort pool is as relaxing as it looks and by the 3rd or 4th day you might be able to converse with some of the local peacocks!
There’s only one word to describe the food and beverage staff; and it’s AMAZING! Led by GM/MaitreD and bi-lingual Juan Carlos. Chef Alfredo created new menu choices everyday and for every meal and all of the food is fresh and well-prepared. A lot of the fruits and vegetables are directly from the gardens on the premises (pineapples and mangos were the best I’ve ever had). The service staff is impeccable, I still can’t figure out when they sleep. From fresh orange juice in the morning to incredible margaritas and ice cold cerveza’s in the afternoon to great wines at dinner, there’s no detail overlooked. The staff seems to enjoy serving the Guests as much as the Guests enjoy being served by the staff.
The housekeeping staff is just as amazing but also stealth-like. I think the only time I actually talked a member of the housekeeping staff was when she was returning my clothes which she took upon herself the wash and fold for us.
I can continue my dialogue for another 10 paragraphs or more but as I mentioned earlier, words and pictures can’t do justice to The Balaji Palace. I’d like to personally congratulate Dr. Balaji on this truly incredible creation.
A business meeting brought us to this beautiful resort in the Dominican Republic last week. This spectacular palace carved into the side of a cliff has magnificent views and an extremely attentive service team. I loved the peaceful surroundings, the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks, the private location away from crowds and the unique museum-like quality of the building itself. The Balaji Palace is perfect for a mindful retreat, a wedding, a family reunion, or just an indulgent getaway. I’m trying come up with another reason to get back there soon, I miss it already! Thank you for such a wonderful experience.
The best experience ever. Magic Location in a wonderfull place, full of beautiful natural places, lakes(DuDu - GriGri), waterfalls(saltadero), beaches, caves
Well prepared staff, absolutely recommended for any occasion,
Thank so much, Juan Carlos, Felipe, Lourdes, Charlize, Alfredo & the hole crew involved in our stay at The Balaji Palace.
The Balaji Palace is absolutely amazing. We rented the entire palace for a fun vacation for family and friends, and loved every part of our time there.
It is a beautiful estate with outstanding service. If you really want to be pampered, come here! The food is out of this world--everything is special and yet accessible for all tastes. And we all agreed that the massages we got at the spa were some of the best we had ever had. We particularly enjoyed spending time at the swim-up bar at the pool. And the kids loved the volleyball courts, pool table and ping pong tables. There is something for everyone here.
We stayed at the Balaji Palace for six days. This place exceeded my expectations from the Pictures we had seen to the service, such a wonderful place. There is nothing around like this. The staff became like family during our stay. The Palace was very peaceful and relaxing place and the food was delicious. The beach in this place is incredible, there is no other beach around comparing to this as beautiful and privacy. We loved the Playa Grande, but the Palace Beach is right home and private, is heavenly. I wish we can stay forever but there is always a next time.