Domanican Replubic island
We went 3 times to the Domanican Republic island and all times to Punta Cana.
It is the most affordable destination in the Caribbean, you find good hotels for reasonable prices and the beach and sea are just stunning. All the times we went to Punta Cana we booked our hotel and flight separate.
Places where we staid are the Riu Palace Punta Cana and the Iberostar Grand hotel Bavaro. In our opinion you cannot go wrong with a Riu Palace. The hotels are always well kept and food & drinkas are always very good.
The only disadvantage are the beds, which are quite hard and not to comfortable. Another point, depending at your preference, is that the hotel is quite large, and can give a crowded feeling, especially when the hotel is fully booked. They have a nice swim-up bar, which gets especially busy at the end of the afternoon.
The Riu Palace Punta Cana has a nice large swimming pool, but when it is really hot outside, the water is on the warm side so that it is not refreshing anymore. Booking the Riu Palace gives you access to the other neighboring Riu hotels, which is nice for a change as in the Dominican Republic you spent most of your time in the resort.
During dinner they request long paints in the a la carte restaurants, and as most of these are not air-conditioned, it makes it quite uncomfortable. We had a few times that we kind of rushed out after our dinner, to get some fresh air.
When we initially booked the Iberostar, we booked the Iberostar Dominica. However, when we arrived they just opened the Grand Hotel Bavaro which was next door.
We could book an upgrade for like $30 a night, which we decided to do directly after seeing the hotel. And that hotel is really great. We got a room with direct pool access, rooms are spacious and nicely decorated.
The whole hotel is just one piece of luxury.
The guests in the hotels are quite mixed. We would say the majority is Spanish and American.
All the times we went to Punta Cana we booked the hotel and flight separate. Jetair from Belgium is sometimes offering return tickets as low as 250€.
The first time we went, we saved approximately 800€ by person booking separate ticket and hotel compared to booking a package.
Although with the current exchange rate of EURO / USD it is not that interesting anymore, we also once got a very favorable price with booking through a VPN connection.
Price with a regular internet connection from The Netherlands was 160€ a night. With a VPN connection, selecting a server in The United States we got quoted $160 a night. And this was at the time of an exchange rate of 1€ = $1,50.
This is a tip from the Real Travel Blog. If you have access to VPN, try a few servers in different locations to see if you can get a better price. Before you switch your location with the VPN connection, don`t forget to remove the cookies from your browser.
Food and drinks
In our experience, the all-inclusive formula you find in the Domanican Republic island is of great quality. Better than what you find in for example Egypt or Turkey.
Buffets are extensive, the places we have been you have at least 4 – 5 a la carte restaurants. The buffet restaurants have different themes, but still if the theme for the buffet is not your preference, you will always find something of your choice.
The cocktail lists are extensive, including mojito`s, caipirinhas and daiquiries and much more.
Both the Riu Palace and the Iberostar are serving premium brands. Sometimes premium brands are kept behind the bar, so don`t hesitate to ask for your favorite brand.
The disadvantage is that you will always take some weight during these kinds of holidays. And you also don`t get tot taste much of the local kitchen.
When your vacation in the Dominican Republic is focused on the resort, there is nothing to worry about. The resorts are absolutely save and will have on-site security.
Outside the resorts, you must be careful.
The Dominican Republic island is a poor country. In poor countries tourists always attrack attention from people with bad intentions. Even if there are only a few with these bad intentions, you must be aware and be careful. This is also the case in the Domanican Republic island.
Especially at night it is better to use a taxi in case you want to go somewhere. We went one evening to Punta Cana to go out but was not worth it in our opinion.
We doubt if there are many interesting sites which are worth it to leave your resort. In general, we don`t think the Caribbean is not the area for sightseeing.
Culture & people.
If you like to do some cultural activities, this is not the place for you. There are not many places to visit. As you will spent most of the time in your resort, the people you meet overthere are mainly tourists, and the staff working in your hotel.
It is all year around very warm and humid. In the autumn months, it typically rains quite a bit. However, mostly these are the short and intensive showers and thunderstorms. But this is not a give. You can also face tropical storms or even hurricanes. In this case you can expect more rainy days in a row.
The good thing is that the temperature will not drop because of the rain. As soon as it stops raining you can go back to the beach.
The humidity is very high, so also evenings are quite warm. This is a big difference with countries in the Middle East, like Dubai or Abu Dhabi. In this region you will feel a big drop in temperatures as soon as the sun goes down. It can be really hot during the day, but after 16.00 p.m. it can feel chilly. With the humidity in the Domanican Republic island, it will never get chilly.
Food & drinks.
As mentioned, we only stayed in All Inclusive hotels in the Domanican Republic island. The big majority of the hotels will follow this principle. We also believe is is advisable to book an all-inclusive hotel for your vacation in Punta Cana. We did not see many places around where you could go for your lunch or dinner.
In this respect we also advice to make a careful selection of the hotel you want to stay. After all, staying in an all-inclusive hotel means that you will stay most of the time in the resort. And then you want the food & drinks to be good. Not only tasty but also kept with high hygiene standards.
We would prefer to shorten the stay a few days, and stay in a quality hotel then go for a cheaper option and end up in a so-so hotel.
What do we think about the Domanican Republic island? For just a relaxing vacation, it is an ideal destination. The price quality ratio of the hotels is very good. We like the Domanican Republic island for example more than our Jamaica Holidays.