Has anyone been to Punta Cana in the Dom Republic?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Ron-P, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. Ron-P

    Ron-P Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,954
    Likes Received:
    49
    We're looking to book an 8 days vaca there this August. There's lots of amazing resorts that are all inclusive, including air and booze and running about $900-$1,000pp. Looking for anyone that's been and might have tips/suggestions.
     
  2. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    241
    Been a couple of times, we love that beach. I doubt you could go wrong there. We have been to Melia Caribe and Now Larimar.

    Anything specific you want to know?

    We have never left the resort, in Punta Cana so I can't really help you in that area.
     
  3. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    241
    I think a big thing to consider is are you traveling with children... choose the resort accordingly. I recently suggest Larimar to a friend who would have the money to go anywhere. he came back and said he loved the resort. For me that is pretty high praise given what he is comparing it to. We both opted for the prestige club (think that is what it is called). You get access to a smaller private pool with bar, and a little breakfast coffee place etc. Not sure it was worth the extra cost, but it was nice.

    I think we liked the food better at Caribe...... also not this place is huge. It is big enough that it has trams running around like Disney. So if big is not your thing, than this is not your place. I think Hard Rock on this beach also gets pretty high ratings.
     
  4. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    7
    Was there in February at a place called Ocean Blue and Sand. We had a blast and would definitely go back there again. They also had something like What Chris Slade mentions but I think their's was called "Privilege" (you can find it on the website). We did not opt in for that and did not feel like we were missing anything. August might be a little toasty!
     
  5. GHilinski

    GHilinski Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,530
    Likes Received:
    51
    We went to Paradisus which is not one of the super top end places but in the four star range. Dominican has its good's and its bad's. The ride from the airport to the resort is a tour of some of the most poverty stricken places you will ever see. People living in shacks, burning garbage, half completed roads, plastic bags and water bottles thrown everywhere, guards with m-16's, you name it.

    You then pull up to the resort which is razor wired in and you suddenly amazed by the beauty of the places. They are all very nice and very clean. The beached and pool areas are always very nice with some adult only areas for an extra charge. Our room was very clean and comfortable with 24 hour room service for food and drinks. Overall, the service was decent but can be spotty at times. Tip well.

    As far as the all inclusive goes, it is like a cruise. The buffets for breakfast and lunch are decent, the dinner options are also not bad but you have to make reservations in advance and are typical steak, Italian, hibachi, chines, etc. The alcohol is suspect. One word sums it up. Cheap. Whatever they can buy at a discount is what you get and some of it is pretty bad. Never had the same bottle of wine twice and the local beer, El Presedente is kind of like bud medium. The buffets all cater to Europeans so you may see cold cuts and cheese for breakfast and bratwurst for lunch.

    Things not to do. Gamble in the casino - complete ripoff and never saw anyone win. I would be showing 20 on the blackjack table and was beat repeatedly by 21. Do not but cigars there. You can get dominicans cheaper in the states. Do not go on timeshare sales pitches regardless of the deal. Ripoff. Finally, do not wander off campus. The dominican is cheaper than other places but they have increased their prices lately. It used to be dirt cheap now it is reasonable.
     
  6. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    241
    I agree with all of that, but it is a wicked nice place. As far as poverty, it is all relative I guess. Take a drive around Roatan then look back at what you saw in Dominican... the scale might change a bit. I have never been, but I picture Detroit to be similar.
     
  7. GHilinski

    GHilinski Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,530
    Likes Received:
    51
    Chris, I would agree that it is an amazing place to visit once you are on the resort. I would go back in a heart beat but other priorities beckon. Having been to Detroit many times and graduated from the University of Bridgeport in CT which are some of the most poverty stricken areas I have ever seen in the US, nothing compares to the ride in. I was shocked only to realize that I was in a third world country, not a first world country.
     
  8. Carl V

    Carl V Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    11,811
    Likes Received:
    747
    It is a third world country as are many of the
    Caribbean Islands. From years of doing 3rd
    world dentistry, I have lived in those areas. It's
    eye opening. Creighton University goes to the
    DR each & Every Year for the past 40 years.
    Those resorts have come a long way...a long way.
    Those resorts have brought some economic relief.

    And Presidente beers is way better than BUD.:eek:
     
  9. GHilinski

    GHilinski Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,530
    Likes Received:
    51
    First of all, Carl, thank you for your service, Awesome! My dentist dues it locally and is a rock star because of it. Giving back!
     
  10. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    7
    That is complete sacrilege and, in my opinion wrong. Presidente is pretty bad - I would take a bud any day of the week over that swill. Since I don't drink at all anymore you can take that for what's worth...;)
     
  11. Ron-P

    Ron-P Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,954
    Likes Received:
    49

    Thanks everyone. We are booked and my wife booked the place you stayed, Melia. How did you like it? Including Air, all-inclusive food and upgraded booze and travel insurance it came to $1,137/pp for 8 days. I think we did pretty good.
     
  12. Ron-P

    Ron-P Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,954
    Likes Received:
    49
    Lots of good info, thank you. We did all inclusive in Mexico last year and know all about the buffets and cheap booze.
     
  13. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    241
    We thought the food at Melia was pretty good, all of us always found something we liked, zero issues.
    Don't really recall much about the booze, I am not a big drinker, but I think it was fine/typical as well.
     
  14. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    241
    As for my poverty comment, I have never been to Detroit, was just messing around. I guess I am just used to the poverty thing going to these places.

    Last time we were in Dominican at Now Larimar, we had a seven person group (one messy toddler). We ate at the same place everyday at the same table. Most people were not tipping, I tipped everyday. On the final day I went to each of the three guys who looked after us and gave them all a decent tip (honestly don't recall the amount). One guy was very thankful and happy, the other two could not speak when they saw what was in their hand, they both cried and hugged me. Looking back now, I don't know if I should have done this or not. But I did it, it's done. Just something to consider, tipping is not required or really expected, but it is appreciated. If we sit at the pool all day and a person comes around with a drink tray I give a small tip each trip. We get excellent service this way, and it does not cost much.

    I don't buy stuff from beach vendors etc. but I assume they would be just as grateful.
     
  15. Ron-P

    Ron-P Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,954
    Likes Received:
    49
    I always tip. We had great service by two men, one a bar tender and the other a waiter. On our last day we tipped them both well and took pics with them too. If I get well taken care of I will tip well for sure.
     
  16. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    241
    Ron,

    I have a friend how checked into Melia Caribe Tropical (one side of the resort). He is there now. Any specific questions you have I can try and forward them along on Facebook.
     
  17. Ron-P

    Ron-P Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,954
    Likes Received:
    49
    Oh wow, that's awesome. How is the resort overall? How are the rooms?, food and cocktails? How's the weather? Just basic questions I suppose... Thanks Chris!!
     
  18. Ron-P

    Ron-P Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,954
    Likes Received:
    49
    Any luck finding out any info Chris?
     
  19. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    241
    Weather was perfect, I saw lot's of pictures on Facebook. They were clearly enjoying the mixed drinks. Rooms were good, but a lot depends here on where your room is. The resort is so big... You could have a room close to the ocean, or close to the restaurants at the front. Trams run anyway but it is big enough of a resort that where the room is my effect your option of the place. When I went last there was a plumbing issue on our room and it we changed locations within a few hours. I preferred being down close to the ocean and pool, and tram up to the front for dinner etc. We spend all of our time by the water as most do.

    I also remember slipping from side to side of the resort (Tropical and Caribe being mirror images of each other, with Tropical being the upper level I think). I recall stumbling across some type of comedy show late in the evening one night on the tropical side that was a good laugh.

    One piece of advice is just avoid the time share seminar crap. Someone will try and get you signed up for that right away. And they asked a number of times, I did not attend, as I had no interest in a vacation plan. I think it gave you time at various Melia properties or something.
     
  20. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    241
    Pictures from last week.

    room.jpg pool.jpg road.jpg beach.jpg
     

Share This Page