Punta Cana Hotels

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Punta Cana Hotel Reviews

With its sweet trifecta of pearl-sand beaches, pleasant climate, and palm trees, Punta Cana has no trouble enticing visitors. It has become the so-called Cancún of the Dominican Republic, and despite having more than 40,000 hotel rooms, the region's resorts are often filled to the brim. Even in the heart of hurricane season (late August through October), when you can usually get a room somewhere, booking far in advance is advisable for the best properties.

Most hotels in the region are clustered around Punta Cana and Bávaro, where more than 90% of the existing properties are all-inclusive. But development continues to press outward—northward to the more remote locations of Macao and Uvero Alto, and southward to the nearby Juanillo—and several of the newer offerings are ultraluxury resorts, not all-inclusives. Other high-end resorts have all-inclusive options designed for guests who might prefer the convenience of paying for everything at once, but who are not necessarily concerned with cost savings.

Playa Uvero Alto, the northernmost developed area of the region, has five resorts along its idyllic beach shaded by coconut groves. In its more remote setting, about 24 mi (39 km) from the airport, the area is less crowded than Punta Cana/Bávaro, but hotels still fill up quickly despite the longer trip to the airport. Traveling time to and from this area should improve markedly once the new "Tourist Boulevard" is completed; for now, newly paved roads shave some time off the trip and make traversing the area a much less bumpy endeavor.

Macao, which lies between Bávaro and Uvero Alto, is another charmed spot, and is the site of phased luxury residential and resort development along the beachfront at Rōco Ki. Although the acclaimed Nick Faldo-designed "Faldo Legacy" golf course has been open here since 2008, completion of the Westin Rōco Ki Beach & Golf Resort, the first of several hotels planned here, has been delayed repeatedly; the resort is now slated to open in 2011. Ownership of the entire complex is in flux at this writing.

All the resorts listed are along the beachfront; however, not all rooms are right on the beach (a feature factored into the price). In many resorts you might face a several-minute walk or shuttle ride to the ocean, so choose your accommodations accordingly. Many resorts have spas attached.

Future Developments

With development mushrooming in and around Punta Cana, several resorts were still under construction or rebranding as this book was being written. At this writing, the Westin Rōco Ki Beach & Golf Resort is expected to open in fall 2011, after repeated delays. Moon Palace in Macao is expected to complete its transformation into a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (1,800 rooms) sometime in late summer 2010. A boutique-style hotel from NH Hoteles, a Spanish lodging brand, is under construction at Cap Cana, with an unspecified targeted completion date. All these hotels are expected to be major players in the area.

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