Last year My girl and myself went to Punta Cana for a friends wedding at the Barcelo Bavaro Palace. Over all it was pretty good, but not great. The beach is beautiful and the ground s of the resort are amazing. I recommened going on the "James Bond for a Day trip" this is a lot of fun. Also go swimming with the dolphins. The big down falls were that very few people at the resorts speek english, the food in medioaker at best. Our weather was pretty good, only one day of ran. We were there the second week of Feb 2004.
The night life is not very good, with only 1 disco (Disco Bavaro) and it only got about 150 - 200 people a night. If you are looking for a relaxing holiday, this is a great place, but if your young and looking for some fun, this is not it. Not much shopping, there is a flee market on the beach with the trinkets and trash.
Went to Santo Damingo for the day. I don't recommend this. It is a 3 1/2 hr bus ride to a big dirty city. Don't waste a sunny day doing this unless you are a history buff and enjoy old dirty cities. Crime is very high her and everyones carrys gun's. Lot of army and crazy drivers. Didn't find any great shopping deals here, not I couldn't find at the flee market.
The Hotelis nice, but I had a few friend staying at the Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort next door. Their was just as nice as mine, and for the few extra perks that you get at the palace, it's not worth it.
Your better off staying at the Beach or Garden Barcelo's
If you have any questions about Punta Cana, PM me and I see if I can give you an answer