This was our first trip to the DR—we were celebrating my 30th birthday. We planned a short trip this time because of another trip planned next month (4 days 3 nights). We traveled with another couple—our cousins. We’ve been to Aruba, Jamaica (multiple times), Cancun (multiple times) and Grand Cayman. We will DEFINITELY return to the DR. We would highly recommend the ME and MC. The staff was very friendly—friendlier than on most other islands. The drinks were good…especially when you asked them to make them strong. Food at most of the restaurants was really good for an AI. The rooms were AWESOME! The pool was great! The beach was beautiful! Carlos, our butler, was attentive and very nice.
-Bring washcloths—apparently they don’t come standard in your room—only hand towels and large towels. (wierd but no biggie)
-Brush up on your Spanish—there will be times where little to no English is spoken.
-Bring all the necessities so you don’t have to buy things like sunblock at the gift shop.
-Bring bug spray—the bugs weren’t overwhelming like some have said but I did get bit on my foot and my forehead…it’s not pretty. (I was the only one that had this problem)
-Bring plenty of $1’s for tipping.
-Visit the market—it’s worth it and you’ll get great deals.
- Drink bottled water--we did and no one got sick.
-Try some Mama Juana shots--just to say you tried it.
-Mingle! We had a blast getting to know new people.
- Don’t feed into the negative reviews—my trip was the complete opposite…AMAZING!
-Don't be nervous when the forecast shows "thunderstorms possible". It said that EVERY day of our trip and the weather was PERFECT! Only a short shower 2 nights after midnight...nothing during the day!
- If you don't have fun, it's your fault! It's hard not to love this place.
We arrived around 1pm at the Punta Cana airport—be sure to have $10 pp in cash for the tourist card. Getting through the airport was a breeze. Hotel Beds was our transfer company. We rode in an air conditioned van with a few others and arrived at our hotel (we were the last stop) in 30 minutes or so.
When we arrived at the Majestic Elegance we were happy with what we saw as we were entering—a good sign. We were immediately greeted by our butler, Carlos. He took us to the bar, gave us drinks and we were on our way to our room. Along the way, he pointed out various areas of the resort and also showed us where the Elegance Club-only areas were located. Along the way, we requested to be in the same building as the couple traveling with us and he made it happen—we were happy.
We stayed in building 5, room 4118 (and 4222). We were on the ground floor, our cousins were on the 2nd floor. Our room was very pretty, spacious, clean and comfortable. It was one of the better rooms we’ve ever stayed in at al AI resort. The in-room jacuzzi was a nice bonus! Our room was centrally located—half-way between the lobby (which is also where most restaurants were located) and half-way to the beach.
After settling into the room we ventured out for some food—we wanted something quick because we were starving. We ended up at a buffet near the beach which left a lot to be desired. Maybe the selection was bad because it was an awkward time of day (it was 330pm or so)…I don’t know. We settled for fries, pizza, burgers and nachos and headed out to the beach. On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best, I’d give this restaurant a 2. My ratings are on an “All-Inclusive” scale—not to be confused with finer restaurants like in Vegas, Miami etc.
The beach was beautiful. The water wasn’t too choppy but also wasn’t super calm. A little seaweed on the beach but nothing overwhelming. Lots of chairs available. Not desolate but also not overly crowded. There were no palapas available though, but we wanted sun anyway so no big deal.
For dinner we ate at the See and Sea. This was an ALL seafood restaurant close to the beach—open air. One of our family members is allergic to seafood and was hoping for a non-seafood option but nothing else was available. I had the lobster and it was ‘ok’. The texture was a little weird but I still ate all of it. I’d rate this restaurant a 3.
After dinner we headed to the casino. The casino had roulette, slots, blackjack and poker. It was small but was still pretty busy. We played roulette and lost a little money—had fun doing it though. Don’t expect ‘Vegas’ when you go to the casino….just expect a ‘little gambling’.
After the casino we were headed to our room and got caught in a rain storm. We ran for cover and waited for it to check up. The rain got us a little disoriented apparently, and we got lost on our way to the room. We saw room 4118 and thought it was ours….then realized we were on the COLONIAL side! A nice man from the resort helped us find our way back. Lesson Learned: Drinks, exhaustion and a rain storm may not be a good combo.
We woke up and had breakfast at the II Botaccio—it’s only open for breakfast and lunch for Elegance Club guests. Everyone can go for dinner. They served hash browns, sausage, bacon, omelet’s etc. It was made-to-order and was pretty good…especially with mimosa’s. I’d rate this one a 3.5 (also on my “AI rating scale”).
After breakfast we headed to the pool by the swim-up bar. We met some very nice people, had shots together, drank margaritas and had a great time!
We later went to the spa and had couples massages. I had an 85 minute ‘majestic massage’ which consisted of 3 techniques and my husband had an 85 minute hot stone massage. Were the massages good? Let me just say that my husband was knocked out asleep at the end and I put on my bathing suit inside out and didn’t realize it until I was back out at the pool—the massages were AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! Probably the best we’d had…ever.
After the pool/spa we headed to the room for a nap and to change for dinner. While at the room our butler, Carlos brought a birthday cake to me—how sweet!
We ate at 9 doors—the Japanese restaurant for dinner. We ended up eating with a very nice couple we’d met earlier and had a BLAST! The food was great and so was the staff! Be sure to make a reservation so you get to experience this restaurant. I’d give this one a 4.75—I was impressed for this being at an AI.
We went to the casino again and lost a little more. We had a late snack at the restaurant outside the casino and headed back to the room.
We woke up a little late and just grabbed a quick snack at the Elegance Club lounge. We then headed to the market.
While there are plenty of places to shop on the resort, the prices were waaaay overpriced. (Ex: sunblock for $25 USD and a memory card for a camera for $50) The ‘local’s’ market was located about a ½ mile outside the resort to the right…you can’t miss it. It’s not far but far on a normal day but seemed far when it was smoking hot outside like the day we went. It was well worth it though, because I got a painting that I saw at the resort for $125 for only $50. Also included in the $50 was 3 smaller paintings—I was happy. Also picked up some other trinkets for great prices thanks to my husbands bartering skills. A nice guy at the market had a friend drive us back after we purchased a decent amount of things from him. The ride was free but was worth so much more after being so hot while shopping at the market. My body may not have made it if we’d walked. (this is what exhaustion, shots and margaritas will do apparently)
We had lunch at Flavors—a buffet restaurant. It was awesome! LOTS to choose from including, a pasta bar, breads, tacos, fried fish (cooked in front of you), fruits, desserts, rice, chicken etc etc. I’d rate this one a 4—one of the best buffets I’ve had at an AI.
We spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool—with more shots and margaritas. We played pool volleyball for a large group for a couple hours and had a blast.
For dinner we ate at Asadito—an Argentinian steak house. I had the fillet with a béarnaise sauce. It was pretty good. My husband and the other couple with us said that this was one of their favorite meals. We’d give this one a 4.3
After dinner we hung out in the room and got our bags packed.
We were up at 4am to depart. It was a sad,sad day.
This was a phenomenal 30th birthday trip for me. It far exceeded my expectations. I will return to the DR and would probably stay at the ME or MC. If I didn’t, it would only be because I’d want to try out a new spot. A+++++++++