Dominican Republic

Feb 18th, 2008, 03:57 PM
  #1  
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Dominican Republic

Is there much difference between say Punta Cana and Puerto Plata or La Romana? Do any of them have better access to things to do off the resort (IS there anything to do off the resorts?!)
Thanks
gillybrit is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 04:38 PM
  #2  
 
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Any area but Punta Cana offers more to do off the resort. Puerto Plata is a real colonial-era town, and it is worth exploring. You can also get to Santiago in an hour. La Romana doesn't really offer much off the resort proper, but it's a tad closer to Santo Domingo, which is well worth visiting.

Of all the major resort areas in the DR, Punta Cana is hte most isolated and offers the least off the resort.
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 05:29 PM
  #3  
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Thanks Doug. Punta Cana is said to have the best beaches, though, right? I'm thinking we're going to cut the trip shorter and just really enjoy the resort since we have kids with us. How are the beaches at Puerto Plata?
Any recommendations between the following resorts:
Gran Bahia Principe and Melia Caribe Tropical? Both are in our price range for 6 nights with a direct flight from Newark.
gillybrit is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 05:42 PM
  #4  
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Looks like Puerto Plata is more interesting, but a beautiful beach is a must for us.
gillybrit is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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Just curious what kind of price you are getting and who you are booking your trip thru. We also are looking for place with kids and leaving out of newark with a direct flight for 6 nights. The only thing I have heard about the melia caribe is that it is soooo big and takes a long time to get around to everything.
lisa64 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 04:54 AM
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There are beautiful beaches all across the DR, but not all DR beaches are beautiful, as is the case everywhere in the Caribbean. So it really depends on which resort you are talking about. To be honest, I actually prefer the beach at Bayahibe (near La Romana), which faces the Caribbean rather than the Atlantic. The water is much calmer and nicer. Similarly, in Punta Cana, the beaches facing the Caribbean are better, but only Club Med and Punta Cana Resort are on the Caribbean side. I doubt very much that either would be in your price range.
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 09:09 AM
  #7  
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Lisa, we are looking at between $3500 and $4000 for 4 people (1 room - 2 kids, but one is 14 so counts as an adult)
This is through Liberty Travel on a direct flight from Newark.
Doug - do you have any recommendations for hotels in that price range either in Punta Cana or Puerto Plata - La Romana isn't really appealing to me.
Melia Caribe does look huge, but pretty good reports in general on Tripadvisor...
gillybrit is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 01:34 AM
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We took our 2 kids to Melia Caribe last year and yes it is big...Most restaurants are near the lobby...the beach is a 10 minute walk...We chose Melia Caribe because we got adjoining rooms..That was great..It is not my favorite resort in Punta Cana but the adjoining rooms sold it for me and I am glad we went there.
jannieween is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 03:55 AM
  #9  
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Can anyone recommend as smaller resort that good for adults, not all that family friendly, on a really nice, calm beach? It doesn't matter which location. Not interested in Secrets Excellance as it's too expensive and I don't think the beach there is all that great.
KVR is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 04:43 AM
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Here's the rub. Punta Cana is a top family destination. To avoid families, the easiest solution is to go upscale. Tortuga Bay Hotel, for instance, is a smaller boutique section of Punta Cana Resort on the Caribbean side of the peninsula. Excellent beach, but very expensive.

Would you ever consider a place like Natura Cabanas in Cabarete (on the north shore of the DR)? It's a very simple but nice resort (just 10 bungalows, but no a/c, no phones, no TVs, just relaxation.

Otherwise, you will just have to accept the fact that Punta Cana is primarily a family resort destination. I can't think of any mid-range place that are really adult-oriented. Paradisus Palma Real might work, but it's even more expensive than Excellence (which by the way is no longer "Secrets" Excellence).
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 07:28 AM
  #11  
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Thanks, it doesn't have to be adult's only, just not looking for a mega resort with 500+ rooms that caters to children or has an adult party scene. More like less than 300 rooms. I know that's hard to find. We definatly want an AI, a really nice, calm beach, several restuarant choices, we're not the type to lay on a resort for a week and call it a vacation, so we would want to plan several tours to see the Island, a really great pool with a swim-up bar. DH will have to have TV and A/C. Don't need a phone. Budget would be $2,000 - $2,500 for a 4-7 night stay with air for 2. I've read some of the mega AI's have adult only sections. That would be fine also.

We're not sure we want to go. I've been before on a cruise and didn't care for it, but that was a long time ago. We prefer more active locations like Cancun and Aruba, where going off the resort is not a big thing, but we may be willing to try it.
KVR is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 11:10 AM
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To be honest, you're going to have trouble finding what you are looking for in that budget range, especially if you are looking for an AI resort. There is nothing that I can think of in Punta Cana off-hand that fits the bill, though perhaps I'm missing something.

Can anyone help KVR? I'd strongly recommend looking elsewhere in the Caribbean. You can do this, for example, if you go to Vieques, where there are a lot of good moderately priced places. But they aren't AI resorts. I think that sort of island might suit you better than Punta Cana. At least by going to Puerto Rico, you often save significantly in airfare.

If you find a decent airfare, you can also do this in Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos.

Mexico is much more cost-effective than most Caribbean islands, and a Maya Riviera resort can also come in at this price-point.

But I think you and alot of people are going to end up very disappointed this year because high airfares are going to pretty much put an end to the $1,200 per person all-inclusive package. Now if you are taking out airfare (i.e., $1,200 per person just for accommodations and meals), I think you open up a huge range of choices, but I'd still suggest you stay away from the DR.
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 12:40 PM
  #13  
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Thanks for the info. We've been to Mexico several times and are returning in April just due to the fact that we can get really good package deals on an AI there. We've been to so many places and was just looking for something new that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg. We had to cancel our plans for Curacao for April because the airfare was so unreasonable.

We got a really great deal at Orbitz for Cancun in April. They are offering $200 off on package deals right now and we booked the Oasis Viva AI for 7 nights with air and transfers for 2 people for less than $2,000.00. It came to $910 p/p. I couldn't believe it and I booked it before they changed their mind.
KVR is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 12:50 PM
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We booked a trip in March to Dreams in Punta Cana (formerly Sunscape?) We received positive feedback about it from several travel agents and ended up booking through Costco, no one could come close to their price. This is an AI that falls into the price category that has been mentioned. Has anyone been?
lovetotravel5 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 06:10 PM
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I'd forgotten about Dreams, which is new, so thanks. I've never stayed at a Dreams resort, so I can't give any feedback of my own, but the chain is supposed to be stylish yet moderately priced.
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 04:16 AM
  #16  
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After doing some more research, I found several hotels in the Puerto Plata area that are within my budget, but not sure about anything else that would meet what we are looking for. Any input on the following hotels?

Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorado
Lifestyle Tropical Beach
Bahai Principe San Juan
Casamarina Beach & Reef
Allegro Playa Dorado
Barcelo Puerto Plata

What off property tours are available in Puerto Plata?
KVR is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 10:40 AM
  #17  
 
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Subject: Adult Friendly Punta Cana
Hi, We are two couples that have recently returned from Punta Cana, we stayed at the Occidental Grand, in the Royal Club, this is an adult style accomodation featuring 51 rooms within a larger resort. There is a small upgrade fee that must be booked in your package prior to going to the resort. What you get is a larger room, well appointed, sit down breakfast, lunch and dinner in 'french' service style, upgraded wines and spirits, private pool and beach area that are restricted to use of the Royal Club guests. This is a very clean, comfortable and quiet environment. We have stayed at this property several times and return as it is superior to any other resort in the Punta Cana area.
Dougmatt is offline  

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