I just returned from an extensive trip to the Dominican Republic. Last time I was there was fall of 2011, and with such high expectations I was underwhelmed. This time around, I have been following the progress (new roads, new hotels, better service) and I have to say I was very happy and pleasantly surprised.
My specialties/favorites in the Caribbean have always been Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas, St. Lucia, Belize, Honduras’ Islands, Turks & Caicos, Antigua, etc. but the Dominican Republic of the yesteryears didn’t quite make an impression on me and never really ignited my travel passion. That’s why I felt I owed it a second chance, and this time – it’s all there: romance, party, spa, relaxation, scuba diving, rain forest, beaches, palm trees and much more.
I am enchanted by Bahamas’ sandbars in the middle of the beautiful sea, shallows of Turks and Caicos’ full of stingrays in that signature clear, turquoise water.
There are areas down by Saona and Catalina islands off the coast of LaRomana National Park in the Dominican Republic that the waters are as clear clear, so beautiful and serene, but I have to say Dominican Republic takes the crown for their palm trees. Bahamas and Turks don’t even come close second if you look at the palm trees.
I have searched extensively through powdery white sand beaches of Playa Blanca, Bavaro and gold sand beaches of Uvero Alto (Punta Cana Area) as well as the Caribbean beaches of La Romana and Saona Island. I feel comfortable and confident sending my clients there and properly fitting the right resort to the right client. Confident that the food service, warmth and welcome will make lifelong memories.
Unfortunately, we here on the West Coast are not blessed with charters that are available from the East Coast, Midwest and Canada, but that may be a great destination wedding location for a bride and groom where majority of their families can get there quickly and inexpensively. Or a family reunion/get-together. Generally we’d fly to Miami, and then about 2,5 hrs to Punta Cana, or through Atlanta. I’m still working out to see if there might be a good connection through Dallas, as I really prefer DFW airport to Miami, but it’s all really worth it once you get there.
Food has been elevated with better chefs and more creative menus hitting the hotels, specialty a-la carte restaurants in almost every major hotel, service is definitely with a smile and fast. Lots and lots of really good things to say.
Mamajuana (if you don’t know what it is google it) deserves a whole blogpost dedicated to it, so let’s say I’m still ‘researching’ and when I’m done I will be posting my opinions, findings, photos, etc.
Right now, I am putting a group together that will be arriving Punta Cana September or October. I have the hotel picked out, I’m negotiating at this very time. I am very pleased with my choice as it will be a great fit for a large demographics, like girls getaway, or golf getaway, and there will be a family section as well with a kids club, and truly a good time for the singles. We’ll have options of 5, 6 or 7 nights, I’m very excited about this one. Look for more details coming soon. Here is the photo taken at the hotel where we are going: