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Being among the first guests to visit a new hotel is always exciting, and it’s equally interesting to get an early look at a recently reopened property. So, naturally, I jumped at the chance to stay at Palladium Hotel Group’s TRS Turquesa Hotel, which reopened in November following several months of closure during the pandemic. I was impressed with how quickly this beachfront property has gotten back on track, with its blend of upscale amenities, excellent service and diverse activities, all of which have been updated to reflect the needs of today’s travelers.
Located on the Dominican Republic’s Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, the 372-room TRS Turquesa is the most upscale property in the all-inclusive Grand Palladium Punta Cana complex, and the only one that’s designed for adults only. During my visit, two hotels — Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites Resort & Spa and Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa — were not yet open, but I found lots to enjoy at both TRS and Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino, which is an attractive, family-friendly property for those vacationing with kids.
Staying in the Grand Palladium complex is a bit like vacationing in a peaceful beachfront village, complete with restaurants, entertainment venues and activities. The entire development is beautifully landscaped and pedestrian friendly, with a large fleet of golf cart-style vehicles also available to shuttle guests. TRS Turquesa is the only property that provides access to all the restaurants and facilities throughout the resort complex, so it’s ideal for adults who want several options at their fingertips.
The luxury aspect of TRS Turquesa is apparent in its design; every building has its own concierge desk, with a staff member dedicated solely to the needs of the guests in that building. I stayed in a spacious junior swim-up suite with a four-poster bed, large seating area and romantic in-room Jacuzzi bathtub. The large terrace, which opens up to a pool shared only by a few other swim-up suites, was an especially enticing place to relax in an indulgently private setting.
The hotel’s two main pool areas are equally lush, with seating areas and a waitstaff on call throughout the day to provide refreshments. The “secret” pool, an area designed for quieter relaxation, had not yet reopened during my visit, but already looked ready to receive guests, with socially distanced seating, beautiful greenery and invitingly warm waters.
The beauty of the TRS pools, of course, shouldn’t keep visitors from spending time on the hotel’s gorgeous white-sand beach, where the crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming and it’s easy to find a shady (or sunny) spot to recline and enjoy the balmy temperatures.
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Dining and Entertainment Savvy travelers and advisors already know that all-inclusive resorts have upped their culinary game in recent years, and TRS Turquesa delights the palate in myriad ways. I savored delicious Nikkei (Peruvian-Japanese fusion) cuisine at the stylish Kusko and a tasty Dominican breakfast and multiple lunches at the beachfront Helios, and a chef wowed me with his skills during a live cooking performance at Sumptuori, an upscale Japanese eatery. I also sampled European delicacies from the menu at La Boheme, the resort’s French restaurant; the venue itself was closed, but the menu was featured one night at Kusko — yet another example of the property’s creative approach to providing a full experience for guests as it reopens.
Indeed, current social distancing guidelines mean that some facilities aren’t yet open, but the resort still provides a full array of entertainment and activities. I enjoyed live music and dance in the lobby of Grand Palladium Punta Cana as well as TRS Turquesa, and there are plenty of ways to stay busy, including water aerobics, dance classes and bartending lessons. A morning or afternoon at Zentropia Spa is a must — the attractive, partially open-air facility has an extensive hydrotherapy circuit as well as 12 treatment rooms. Adjacent to the spa is a sizeable, well-equipped fitness center, which was accessible by appointment only during my visit to provide safer social distancing.
Safe TravelTRS Turquesa and the rest of the Grand Palladium complex are taking pandemic hygiene protocols seriously. Upon my arrival to the TRS Turquesa lobby, a bellhop took my temperature, offered me hand sanitizer and sprayed my luggage as I stepped onto a disinfecting doormat. During check-in, the receptionist handed me a hygiene kit with a face mask and two packets of sanitizer. Every guestroom door is sealed with a sticker after cleaning and disinfecting, to assure arriving guests that no one has entered the room since sanitization.
All staff members wear masks, which are encouraged for guests when moving around public areas. I rarely saw any guests without masks, unless they were swimming or seated to eat or drink. Staff take the temperatures of guests when they arrive at restaurants, the spa and the fitness center. The Palladium app is an especially handy tool for creating an even safer and more streamlined experience, with features including digital restaurant menus, an activities guide and even web check-in. Palladium Hotel Group also offers Stay Safe Plus, a free and automatic medical insurance program for guests, certified by inspection and testing services company SGS.
The Dominican Republic doesn’t currently require a COVID-19 test for arriving travelers, but those who (like me) need to be tested during the trip to shorten the quarantine timeframe in their home state can find information about local testing facilities at the Dominican Republic Travel Resource Center, a program run by the nation’s Ministry of Tourism. In my case, the hotel staff and 24-hour on-site clinic provided me with all the information I needed to set up my test appointment at the nearby Punta Cana Medical Center. It was yet another example of how TRS Turquesa Hotel goes above and beyond to serve its guests.
I learned more about the hotel’s dedication to service while chatting with a couple from Michigan one day in the hotel lobby. “We’ve been coming here for years,” they told me. “This is our first time visiting this year, and we feel very safe and glad to see that the service is still incredible. The people at TRS Turquesa are just amazing.”
The DetailsDominican Republic Travel Resource Center www.drtravelcenter.com
TRS Turquesa Hotel www.palladiumhotelgroup.com