After a major, much-needed renovation, this adults-only resort has gone from dowdy to stellar, having been brought up to a completely new level. Within the sprawling Riu complex of five hotels, it is far better than the two more basic sister properties with which it shares facilities and brings it not only closer to the more upscale Riu Palace, but often surpasses it.(Rates now reflect that.) Waiter service is an option at the beach and the pool, so you can kick back and keep the Banana Mamas coming. Food deserves its now favorable comments; of the à la carte options, the chic pier-side Krystal restaurant is the standout with the steak house next up, and the buffet not far behind. It's a short stroll to the complex's shops on Caribbean Street, the new gym and wellness spa, and the popular Pacha disco, which looks stylin’ after its redo.
Playa Arena Gorda, Bávaro, Dominican Republic