stay from Dec 30/09 to Jan 6/10
I travelled with Canjet from Halifax. The flight was only 4 hrs. It went smooth and luggage was easily recieved at the Punta Cana Airport. Seemed like only 25 mins to my hotel.
The rooms were very tidy with tile floors. It had a mini bar which included 2 each of Brahma beer,club soda, pepsi and one jug of water plus three rum bottles all you can drink. The fridge gets filled every 2 days which wasnt a problem as you can get drinks at the hotel bars and take them to your room. The beds were a little hard but not that bad plus i could hear a little music from the hotel next door but wasnt that bad. There is a safe in the room which you get a key from the front desk, i never used the safe just took my money with me. I left my bags locked on the second bed in my room and never once had a problem even when a maid found one of my keys, placed it on my bed for me, nothing was taken. I was lucky enough to get a room with a balcony on the 2nd floor and my trip was booked online.
Restaurants and Bars:
I only did the regular buffets. I didnt reserve anything. The regular buffets each day changed a little but mostly offered pizza(not like canadians pizza), fries, desserts, burgers, fruit, salads, mashed potato, pasta. For a week, it wasnt that bad to eat this, there was still quite a variety to choose from. The bars were great, lots of drinks to choose from.
The grounds were kept up really well, the pools were tended to everyday, pool closed at 7 pm, the swim up bar was great, there was a pool next door that u could use also but had to get a towel from your own resort and there is a limit of one towel per day on the loan card u are given but you can always use a towel from your room if this doesnt interest you. Beach stretched for a long ways left or right, only a few smoke butts that i saw, the beach is rocky when going in the water but if you get water shoes, this isnt much of a problem. I wore water shoes even just for walking and i recommend you buying a pair before going. Also take sneakers, shoes if you wish.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
They have daily bingo, darts which isnt much, workouts in groups by the pool, evening shows at the bar which includes a Michael Jackson show, Karokee, Dancers, Circus De Soleli which were simply great. I went HorseBack Riding on the beach which was great except for the flies that bit me, if you get bit alot i dont recommend doing something that includes anything in the woods. It rained when i went riding but it wasnt that bad cold wise. I went swiming with seeing nurse sharks below me and tropicial fish which was simply amazing and got to hold a sting ray on this tour which was a bonus. I did the swimming with the dolphin which was great, u can also get an interaction excersion also which i would think be pretty much the same and save you some money. These are the only extra things i did where u have to pay money but well worth it. The HorseRiding was $55 US, Dolphin was $129 US, Snorkling which also included a party on the boat where u can dance and get involved also was $89 US.
The people of the Dominican Republic are very friendly and very hard working people. I got to hang out with Miguel who worked at the bar which he is such a nice guy and travels to different resorts to work. I recommended buying things like toothpaste, toothbrushes, little shampoos/conditioners, gum, hairclips, stationary, etc at the dollar store and leave it in yr room as a appreciation for the maids as its a way of saying thank you for your hard work and they dont get alot of these things their way. The bars close at 12 am at the resorts and then there is a bar up the street that charges $10 US to get in, $5 US drinks and stays open until 4 am in the morning. You plan on partying alot take enough money for this. I recommend taking aloe vera in case u get burned, sandels, golf shirts for the guys for at night no dress long sleeve shirts you wont need them, some jeans and dress pants, plenty of sunscreen, power converter if you have anything to charge, batteries extras. Take a bit of money if you plan on buying anything and charge your exersions to your visa as its better for you that way. This was my first experience to the DR, i met people from Germany, Toronto, Argentina, USA, all people i met were very nice. The resort is very safe, going off the resort isnt from what i heard, do not rent a car as there is lots of impaired drivers there and you get in an accident, im told its the tourists fault not there fault. DR people do come to the hotel and sell things, they do hassle you a little but when you say "NO i dont wanna buy anything" they leave you alone, i did get a good deal on a necklace and earrings at the hotel, the guy asked $73 US and i got it for $25 US so you can barter for a deal. I do not recommend buying anything off the beach as i learned and got taken for as my first time there, buyer beware. On the dolphin excersion theres a shop also you can buy things plus the stores near the hotel up along the street. Far as language barrier, there is a little but i didnt have much problem, even if you dont speak the language, spanish. The resort i did find was 80% Europeans, 20% other, there wasnt many topless women there, lots of families, lots of women in bikinis though. My first time at the DR, an amazing experience, the resort was great and i will difinately be going back, i miss it already