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PlzCoolerMe Jul 30th, 2012 02:25 PM

Hard Rock Dominican Rep. Vs. Sandals Bahamian
Not much of a traveler... We have been to Mexico three times. My wife and I are looking at joining another couple for a trip in late Jan./early Feb. to either one of the above resorts. Relaxing is the most important key for us, but, we want something with a decent nightlife and good food. There are a couple of things that concern us about each location.

First for Dominican Repub.: 1. We've read some reviews that said the Hard Rock in Punta Cana has a bit of a language barrier with Spanish vs. English. We don't speak Spanish fluently, so this could be an issue if so. 2. Is the Hard Rock more of a family resort or will it still be romantic?

For the Royal Bahamian, our main concern is that the temperature at this time in the season will be a little cool to lay out on the beach. Is that the case or is it still enjoyable?

Also, between the two, which would have the better options for dining? Thanks for the advice.

KVR Jul 30th, 2012 06:12 PM

Don't know anything about the Hard Rock. I do know that I don't like the DR and it's not a place I would want to vacation, but that's me.

Stayed at the Royal Bahamian in 2003. It will be too cool for a January/February trip. Need to wait until at least May. We didn't find any off property nightlife. I adored the pools there and the dining was much better than the Sandals Grande in St. Lucia. Not a destination I would return to though.

Have you considered Jamaica? If your wanting an AI, I would say Couples Negril, Sunset at the Palms in Negril or the Jewel Dunn's River in Ocho Rios. If you liked Mexico, The Iberostar and Secrets' chains are in Montego Bay.

PlzCoolerMe Jul 30th, 2012 08:53 PM

Thanks for the help, can I ask what is your hesitation with Dominican Repub? We did consider Jamaica, but, were told from friend that had been there that the country itself is kind of a dive. I've heard this might be the case with Punta Cana as well?

schmerl Jul 31st, 2012 04:11 AM

Punta Cana is fine if you just want to go and relax at the pool and beach. There is not much to do off the resort. We have never encountered a language problem at the resorts there.
You said relaxing is the key for you and you will be able to do that in Punta Cana. The beaches there are very nice.
I'm not familiar with the Hard Rock resort but have heard good things about it. I'm not sure how "relaxing" it will be.
It will definitely be too cool for you to enjoy the beach in the Bahamas at that time of year.

KVR Jul 31st, 2012 06:47 AM

I went to the DR many moons ago and didn't like it enough to return. Since it's gotten quite built up with AI resorts, which I don't mind because I love AI resorts, but there more compounded than Mexico's Ai resorts and there is not much to do off the resorts. We are very active on vacation and like to blow and go. If someone was looking for a relaxing vacation at a AI resort and not interested in much else, I think the DR would do it for them. I'd go with the Majestic, Excellance or one of the Bavaro resorts.

We've been to Jamaica twice. I don't understand the "dive" comment. There is some poverty, but Mexico has some too. I could see people saying that about Mexico also. I love Mexico and defend reguarly here. We've been going over the last 10 years and returning in December.

Comparing the DR to Nassau is like comparing apples and oranges as well as comparing a Sandals resort to any resort in the DR.

NCgalMRF Aug 1st, 2012 04:01 PM

Can you expand on this comment?

"Comparing the DR to Nassau is like comparing apples and oranges as well as comparing a Sandals resort to any resort in the DR."

KVR Aug 1st, 2012 04:35 PM

Nassau and the DR are completly different Islands and environments.

As stated above, the DR mainly consists of large compounded AI resorts in which all the entertainment and dining options are within the resort. It is really not recommended, though some people will, go outside of the resorts unless on a tour.

We didn't find much to do outside of the resort in Nassau except water activities.

The Sandals resorts are in a class of their own. The only couples only resort that charge excessive amounts of money for practically nothing. I am not a Sandals fan after staying at 2. However, the Royal Bahamian was better than the Grande in St. Lucia. Their quality of food and service IMHO is lacking greatly compared to the lux resorts in Mexico. The staff caters to return guests and ignores everyone else.

KVR Aug 1st, 2012 04:38 PM

Just wanted to add, if your looking for a Sandals type resort only with better prices, service and food, look at the Jewell Dunn's River in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It used to be a Sandals. They sold it and we found it to be a great resort. We've been to 14 AI resorts throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. The Jewell ranks 2nd on our book. Number one is still the Royal Playa del Carmen.

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