The resort is 1 hour bus ride away from the airport. Pack some summer clothes/sandals in your carry on, and change at the airport when you arrive or on the airplane. It was hot – and I was dying in my Canadian winter attire. If you’re a drinker, grab a beer when you arrive – you can take it on the bus. Check in takes an average amount of time, but you don’t get your room until 3pm, so if you arrive early, I again recommend you have a change of clothes for your carry on so you can enjoy your time while you wait for your room.
Your room does not have a clock. I spent my entire trip not knowing the time. Bring a clock. Wake up calls are available, and were made on time. 1 king sized bed = 2 singles pushed together. Not the most romantic set up I’ve experienced. Water pressure was excellent, and the water was hot. Maids come to the room each day, and the mini bar is refilled daily (2 beers, 1 bottle water, 3 pop). If your room has a patio on the main floor, be sure to put the pin in the door for security – the locks do not work. The room comes with a safe which they charge $28 for a week. Pay the money and get it – people are in and out of the room all the time. Room included AC – the 2nd key they give you at check in is used to turn the AC on/off.
Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet food was hit and miss. Some was great, some was horrible. The table service at the buffet is great – staff are very friendly. For a 1 week stay you can book 3 A La Cart restaurant reservations – 4 if you’re lucky. You can book all your dinners at once. There are 4 different restaurants, Mexican, Seafood, Italian, and Mediterranean. The Seafood, Italian, and Mediterranean were good – the Mexican is horrible – do not book it. There is a dress code for these restaurants, but when I was here it was not at all enforced. My friend recommended I bring a travel mug with me, because the drinks at the bar are really small, and you can get them to fill whatever size mug you bring. I didn’t, because I didn’t plan on drinking that much, but I wish I had brought one because if you take a drink to the beach on a hot day it’s warm in 5 minutes – not the way I like to drink my beer.
The tiles are slippery. Everywhere. Be careful. If you’re getting out of the pool, put on your shoes. If you have your shoes on, be careful. My boyfriend and I both nearly slipped a few times, and we watched someone slip and smack their head on the tile. It is especially slippery by the pool and at the buffet. If you want to have a bit of a quieter experience, walk to the left when you’re facing the water, and you can find a quieter area on the beach. The main pool is very loud with lots of excitement going on. There is a towel service, and the towels are nice, big, and soft. If you have an early trip in the morning, go the evening before and ask for a new towel for the next day. Some people were caught without because they ran out of towels, and the trip wouldn’t wait for the next load.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Bring a beach bag! If you’re going on any outings, you will need a bag for your towels. Highly recommend one of the safari trips to see what life in the Dominican is really like, and have the opportunity to go to a different beach, with far fewer people. Also some travel agencies offer a shopping trip, which was well worth it. Going into town to the supermarket for spices, coffee, vanilla, and rum was a big save on cash. If you want to do some shopping, walk to the right when you’re facing the water on the beach. There are lots of little shopping shacks there – but the sellers are pretty aggressive. Stand your ground, and don’t pay more than what you think something is worth to you. Try to pay exact change here – I’ve heard that sometimes you can get counterfeit bills as change.
Bring some cards for a rainy day. Snacks are also a good idea for when you’re sick of the buffet food and don’t want to spend $5 USD on a can of chips. Don’t forget to bring a watch!