New Meliá Grand Reserve At Paradisus PUJ Targets the “Wow” Luxe Market
with Open Jaw
Floating breakfast is served.
It’s one thing to open a new hotel. But to open a hotel which is the first of (hopefully) many in a chain must be both a great challenge and a great privilege.
Jaime Piedras is clearly up to the task. The Spaniard, who worked his way up in the hotel industry starting at the age of 17, is passionate about what he does and about his employer, Meliá Hotels International.
Over his career he has opened four Meliá properties in Shanghai, Indonesia, Los Cabos and his latest, the Grand Reserve at Paradisus by Meliá in Punta Cana, designed to provide the ultimate in luxury and service. An extension of the upscale Paradisus brand, this is the first ‘Grand Reserve’ property, and Piedras says it takes luxury to another level.
“We are now into our 10th month of operation and are continuing to discover new ways we can ‘wow’ our guests,” he says of the property, which is adjacent to sprawling sister property the Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort.
“We are all-suite, with a minimum room size of 800 square feet, and 25% of our rooms are swim-up.” Interestingly, Piedras is targeting just 60% occupancy, aiming at an uncrowded vibe and an impressive ratio of 600 staff to 250 occupied rooms.
Concierge service is geared to discerning clientele, and every guest is contacted prior to arrival to verify likes and dislikes including any health concerns or food allergies. “In the case of a child’s extreme food allergies, the chef will meet with the parents on arrival to go over exactly what is required,” says the GM.
Food and beverage is key to a hotel’s success, says Piedras, and with eight restaurants ranging from a classic Steak House to a Peruvian ceviche specialty restaurant, Asian to Mediterranean, American Sports bar to buffet, there is truly a choice for everyone.
“You can reserve in advance or make an impromptu decision as to where you’ll eat tonight – the choice is yours. Sometimes guests eat at a themed restaurant but go to the buffet for dessert as the selection is so impressive,” Piedras says.
An important aspect to note is that the hotel is not beachfront: Punta Cana’s famous white sands are actually 700 m away. Guests can get there along a nature path, use bikes, or take the electric shuttle bus -- schedules can be checked on the property’s app. However there’s never a swimming shortage: the hotel features 12 pools including the main one which is so huge (75 m long and 16 m wide) that it can accommodate a floating stage.
And while families are not an exclusive target, there’s a host of things to keep kids (and therefore parents) happy. These include the resort’s private water park, a Habitat Park where they can learn about nature in the D.R. and plant a tree or two, plus the hotel invites local kids to come and play football or baseball with the visitors. “You cannot believe how much fun these kids have with each other – language is by no means a barrier,” says Piedras.
And what about those “wow” moments? Try a floating breakfast delivered to your swim-up room. A chef creating a spectacular surprise dessert tableside. The fun of the Silent Disco (listening to disco music on headsets and bopping around. Truly hilarious.) The pleasure of listening to a local band of accomplished blind musicians.
Whichever way your clients arrive at the Grand Reserve at Paradisus (through tour operators such as ACV or Sunwing, flying sked or by private jet), a warm welcome awaits from Piedras and his team.