Where to stay near Punta Cana not All Inclusive

Old Mar 1st, 2021, 07:40 AM
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Where to stay near Punta Cana not All Inclusive

Hello, we are eager to find a nice small (boutique?) hotel or b&b (or airbnb) on or near the ocean, next week, within an hour of Punta Cana Airport.

NOT all inclusives, it's just not our style, and seems like everything is all inclusive, so we seek assistance here.

thanks,

J

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Old Mar 4th, 2021, 08:19 PM
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Is there a reason you've chosen Punta Cana airport? My impression is that's what Punta Cana is known for (All Inclusive resorts).

I've visited Sosua and Puerto Plata using either the airport in Santo Domingo (then bus) or flying into Puerta Plata. Two trips too long ago to be of much help specifically. Only commenting because you seemed surprised about all the AIs
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Old Mar 6th, 2021, 02:15 PM
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There is a reason there are so many all-inclusives in the DR. Are you sure the DR is your style?
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Old Mar 7th, 2021, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by eastenderusvi View Post
There is a reason there are so many all-inclusives in the DR. Are you sure the DR is your style?
I was thinking the same thing.
A little research goes a long way.
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Old Mar 8th, 2021, 06:33 AM
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thanks all, we're doing Casa De Campo a few nights (for better or worse) and an Airbnb condo on the ocean in Bavaro...

your feedback is all appreciated.

Jordan
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Old Mar 9th, 2021, 10:01 AM
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Okay. Have fun. Hope you will come back and let us know how it went!
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Old Mar 9th, 2021, 08:55 PM
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Whoa. Casa de Campo sure doesn't look like what I'd call a "small boutique hotel" -lol- says it's a luxury gated community??

Regardless... hope you enjoy your trip. And yes would be interested to hear how it turns out if you want to post back here would be great.
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Old Mar 10th, 2021, 04:40 AM
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They want the boutique hotel or air bnb AFTER their stay at Casa de Campo.
That will be two very different experiences!
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Old Mar 10th, 2021, 09:14 AM
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thanks schmerl, i must have misread or missed their intent somehow. i'm just interested to hear and read more about current trips to the DR. what it is like there now (not in an all inclusive at Punta Cana).
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Old Mar 14th, 2021, 07:06 PM
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Five nights, three lodgings.

night one, kind of a boutique hotel in or near Dominicus... Alkquimia Hotel Lounge and Bar Where Av. La Laguna, San Rafael del Yuma, La Altagracia, DO (map)... Hotel for one night was certainly fine, and we really liked the area, quite charming, a few blocks from the water, and we had a fine dinner at some cute restaurant hosted by a cool Italian woman... and next door we met Chris, a lovely French woman at her coffee bar... And we drove through Bayahibe, a nearby small town, where we would stay next time. In this two charming small towns near the water, we felt like travellers and not tourists (is there a difference?).
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nights two and three, Casa De Campo. Appears you can go a la carte or inclusive, so we opted for all inclusive. I thought it was great, but my wife did not share my enthusiasm. Check in was painless, the room was real nice, and like all guests, we were given a golf cart to more easily get around although the car came in handy for some distant on premise restaurants. We rode horses, we shot skeet, we did some surprisingly great massages, we swam, and of course ate and drank. We dined at four different restaurants, and my wife thought that only the final meal, a mid afternoon lunch at the Mexican restuarant was high quality. Always fun to have the place to yourself and wait out the pouring rain.

My wife felt that the food was overall disappointing and to boot she was disappointed that there was no buffet on the days that were there. She likes buffets at all inclusives where she can drop in and take whatever without having to have to sit down and be served all the time.

She felt that by having to be served for everything, which required that we sign the bill each time detracted from the experience. If we ordered a beer at poolside, we got the bill and had to give our i.,d. card. She knows all inclusives better than idea, and feels it's much better when you don't need to sign for everything. Think she has a point. What ever happened to the Club Med beads anyway?

So we had to sign all the time, and I became confused about whether to tip or not, and if I wanted to tip, how much since a service fee was included on each bill, but besides it's all inclusive, so I tipped sometimes maybe too much, sometimes maybe too little. Was confusing.

yet, I would give a thumbs up to Casa De Campo, my wife, maybe not.
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Final two nights, we stayed at an airbnb in Bavaro near Punta Cana, a seaside town where we finally got to spend quality time on the great beach. It's a little touristy, meaning the locals are looking for business!

Our Airbnb was a condo apartment building with a great patio or terrace with an oceanside view, which made up for the apartment which needed a face lift (we brought the screen door not working well to the attention of the owner or manager and they were unaware that the screen door did not work well, which I thought was odd, but whatever...). We communicated a few issues with them in private, and they were surprised of our "complaints" even though we felt they were more feedback than complaints, which leads to the question for you Airbnbers... What do you do if you felt that the place was subpar and needed several hundred dollars of upgrades, do you go public with a negative review of the place on airbnb, or do you just chalk it up to the rare airbnb disappointment? Truth be told I would have liked to give it a low rating, but to what end? The owners might retaliate and say we were bad tennants.

Apartment aside, loved walking on the beach, yet navigating the beach vendors which was of course annoying. I thought I did a good job of being evasive, as only one vendor got pissed off at me for trying to ignore his "hola!" I found the best thing to do was to explain in fast English to the vendors that did not speak English well, that I was in tremdous debt and that I was considering bankruptcy and that it would not prudent to buy whatever they were selling and that usually threw them for a loop. I just find it unfortunate that these poor people have to resort to annoying us, and it might better for the government to say, hey, pay a $50 vendor tax, get a badge and the vendors will leave you alone. Or, make it $100!


We were thinking of extending our stay but moving again wasn't in the cards, and we will go back, but probably the north side next time, we hear great things about Samana, La Teresa, sounds like our speed.

Oh, one last thing, in the areas that we covered, there was very little American retail presence which I like as I don't need to see McDonalds or T.J. Maxx or Gap or Staples etc., everywhere when I'm away. Our U.S.A. retail landscape is the same everywhere, which is a tragedy to me.
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Old Mar 16th, 2021, 12:36 PM
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Thank you for your report. I have to admit, I do not understand the attraction of all-inclusives. They reduce the amount of interaction with the local culture and the food is generic. I wonder if your wife understands that she probably will never be able to self-serve at a buffet again. Your response to a Santo trying to make a little money seems a bit over the top. The fact that leisure travel is possible is proof that you are not destitute.The island of Hispaniola is the poorest in the Caribbean. Folks gotta eat. This is why they have all-inclusive gated properties, to separate "travelers" from the common man. Anyway, glad you had a good time.
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Old Mar 16th, 2021, 09:44 PM
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I don't think resorts anywhere are doing buffets right now because of the Covid pandemic. Really don't understand why you argued with the vendors. Their purpose is not to "annoy" tourists, rather to try and support their family. I would have purchased a few things. Spend a little money person to person instead of at a resort.

I do appreciate the time you took to write up your trip. Interesting perspective.
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Old Mar 17th, 2021, 04:31 AM
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Several resorts in Mexico are still having buffets, but you can't serve yourself. You go to the buffet and tell the staff what you want and they put it on your plate. That might be the norm from now on.
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Old Mar 18th, 2021, 03:14 PM
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Sorry, yes, I understand that. I should have been more clear. It's the everyone serving yourself from large open platters of food set-up... that has been eliminated most places during Covid (and likely beyond). If there is a buffet display, it's more likely now to be served up by restaurant personnel.

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Old Mar 26th, 2021, 06:18 PM
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I would look at Tortuga Bay, right in Puntacana. It's a luxury small boutique hotel, each suite with its own assigned concierge. Food was very good to amazing, and the property was absolutely gorgeous (!) though the beach was a bit disappointing. On arrival, you're met at the bottom of the plane stairs and whisked through immigration/customs into a private car . Same thing on the way back, with an escort through check-in/security, then straight into a private departure lounge/bar. I

Last edited by Weadles; Mar 26th, 2021 at 06:21 PM.
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