Recently, Apple Vacations and the Dominican Republic Tourism Board invited me to visit the Dominican Republic with them. I had visited the country before a handful of times, but this was my first time visiting since 2015. I wasn’t sure what to expect… My previous trips had all consisted of me staying in a resort the entire time and just relaxing. I was informed that I would be visiting 18 resorts in two major cities in the Dominican Republic: Punta Cana and La Romana. Eighteen resorts in just five days… I was going to learn a lot about the island!
The Dominican Republic
The country of the Dominican Republic is a small island nation. It located adjacent to Haiti, on the second largest island in the Caribbean, Hispaniola. Known for its beautiful beaches and kind people, the Dominican is one of the most popular vacation destinations for Americans. The Dominicans are kind people, who always welcome you to their country.
The Dominican Republic offers so many activities to its tourists, including day trips to its capital city, Santo Domingo, or more local adventures like safaris and adventure parks. During my visit, our group took a day trip to Saona Island and visited the Scape Park. There truly is something for everyone. The Dominican Republic has it all!
The Adults Only Sanctuary
The first resort we visited upon our arrival in Punta Cana was Secrets Cap Cana. Secrets Cap Cana is an adults-only resort, known for unlimited luxury. It is located on a beautiful stretch of Juanillo Beach, in a very private community, just 20 minutes from the airport. At Secrets Cap Cana, there are eight gourmet restaurants and several bars. For guests who want to relax, Secrets Cap Cana Spa is ready to pamper. During a quick lunch, I ate at the buffet and got to experience Secrets’ 5-star service! I can not wait to book a stay here!
The Fun Adults-Only Destination
CHIC by Royalton Punta Cana is another adults-only resort, with a very different vibe than Secrets. CHIC is a more laid back, fun resort, focusing more on a luxurious fun experience. At CHIC, there is always something to do: over 10 different fitness classes, poolside entertainment, FOAM parties, and pool-side DJ! An upgrade to Diamond Club gives guests access to beach-side waiter service, and access to Diamond Club lounges and beach-side grille.
CHIC is also home to a huge spa that offers an extensive list of services, including a hydrotherapy circuit I was dying to try. On our one-hour site inspection, they took the time to give each of us a three-minute sample massage (that I was oh-so-grateful for!) CHIC is also amazing for groups such as bachelor/bachelorette parties!
The Giant One – with something for everyone
Going on a multi-generational family vacation? The Bahia Principe Complex in Punta Cana is for you! This complex consists of seven resorts: Two Luxury Bahia Principe resorts, Fantasia Bahia Principe, and four Grand Bahia Principe properties. All of these resorts are located on the same property and share several facilities. However, some of the resorts do not have beach access. I visited Grand Bahia Principe Aquamarine, an adults-only resort, which is not directly located on the beach but is a beautiful resort. They do have golf-carts taking guests to the beach.
Located right next to Grand Bahia Aquamarine is the Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar, an adults-only resort that is directly on the beach! This one I highly recommend for adults looking for a budget-friendly adults-only option. Next door is the Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda, which is family-friendly. I did not visit this one but have heard amazing things from clients. Guests at the Luxury properties are able to visit any of the Luxury or Grand properties.
Nearby is the third resort I visited, the Fantasia Bahia Principe Resort. This resort is family-oriented, but guests from here do not have access to the other properties, just the shared facilities. Guests from the other properties do not have access to Fantasia either. This resort is like a small theme park. Fantasia has unbelievable kids club facilities and a teen club, with an arcade and spa/gym facilities for teens
The Kid’s Paradise
Nickelodeon Resort in Punta Cana is perfect for parents wanting to gift their kids the coolest vacation ever. In fact, Nickelodeon is a Karisma property, which means that it has a gourmet-inclusive focus. All of the restaurants on property are designed with children and adults in mind, and there is no buffet. The self-serve restaurant instead features live cooking stations, where guests can pick up freshly prepared food. Around the property, guests see glimpses of Spongebob and Patrick, the Fairly Odd Parents, Paw Patrol, Dora the Explorer, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Guests also have access to Aqua Nick. This Nickelodeon-themed water park is only open for guests of the resort and free to use! At the waterpark guests can enjoy water slides, spray grounds, a lazy river, and the chance to get “SLIMED”. Aqua Nick is also where guests can participate in character meet and greets.
Additionally, parents can relax and enjoy themselves, without being overwhelmed by the resort’s them. There are adults-only areas, including a lounge called Vino Vino, and an adults-only pool at Sensatori – the adjacent resort! Kids will be dying to stay at the Kids Club which hosts pajama parties and TMNT Training! For guests that really want to splurge, they can reserve the Pineapple Villa and stay inside of the most famous home in Bikini Bottom: Spongebob’s House. Other villas are available, but the Pineapple is the most notable of them all!
The One in La Romana
Dreams Dominicus La Romana was gracious enough to host us for two nights of our stay. Notably, this resort is the highest-rated property in La Romana. Dreams Dominicus is a newer property that is built in a hacienda-style! The resort has a beach on one end, which is surrounded by an infinity pool with a swim up bar. I really enjoyed this resort’s restaurants, particularly the Asian one, where the chef let me cook as a part of the Hibachi show. In fact, there are ten restaurants here!
On the other end is the lobby, next to which is a tunnel to the second building: a high-tower of family-friendly Preferred Club suites. This tower is adjacent to a kids-pool, two restaurants, a bar, and a Preferred Club lounge. I enjoy my time at this resort, but would highly suggest clients do not stay in the Preferred Family Suites. This tower is located about seven minutes from the beach.
The Family-Friendly Property
Lastly, Now Onyx was the other resort I stayed at for three out of my five nights in the Dominican Republic. In my opinion, Now Onyx truly was one of the most family-oriented properties we saw. There is an exclusive adults-only pool for adults that are staying in the Privilege Club. The restaurants are family-friendly at Now Onyx, but adult guests can experience adults-only dining at Breathless as well. For the kiddos, there are kid-friendly stations at the buffet, an amazing kids club, and daily programming for kids.
In terms of food, guests can dine at a variety of international restaurants including French, Italian, and Asian. There is also a buffet that features a rotation of international cuisines such as Mexican and dishes from the Dominican Republic. Additionally, there is a burger shop, ice cream shop, and coffee shop, all located near the resort’s lobby and are included as part of the unlimited-luxury all-inclusive package! The beach here is also unbelievable and is spread out to accommodate many guests, without a claustrophobic feeling.
And Many More…
Overall, there are dozens of resorts in the Dominican Republic that I did not get to see. As a travel agent, I know what to look for when inspecting a resort and what questions clients may have. It is always important to remember to find a resort that is the right fit for YOU. What may be a good fit for a friend or family member, may not be ideal for your vacation. However, I feel that you cannot go wrong with any of the six resorts mentioned above! Get ready to spend a few days unwinding from work and relaxing to the island waves in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic truly does have it all.