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Too many resorts to choose from

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Bedford...
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Too many resorts to choose from

Hi, thinking of a first trip to Punta Cana. Have never stayed in an AI but I guess that is the way to go in the Dominican. Looking for (1) gorgeous beach (2) good food and variety of dining options (3) smaller resort feel (not a high rise), (4) adults only preferred but not a must. When visiting Punta Cana do you stay put at your resort or venture to other resorts? Is it safe to walk along the beach. Are there stores for getting groceries/beverages/liquor if you wish? We are a couple mid fifties that have been to Turks and Caicos for the last 4 years, looking to change it up, and trying to save some money while we are at it. Thanks everyone.

Morristown, New...
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1. Re: Too many resorts to choose from

First, you won't find any high rises in PC... I think the tallest a resort is allowed is three floors.

Mostly folks stay at their resort, except for venturing out for excursions/tours, or maybe a taxi ride to some shops. You can see other resorts as you stroll down the beach, but you are not allowed access, unless you pay a pretty pricey day usage fee.

Smaller adults-only resorts to look at would be Catalonia Royal, Punta Cana Princess and Secrets Royal Beach, all of which are stand alone, WITH the added benefit of having access to sister resorts where kids are allowed.... the choice would be yours, whether or not you leave your resort.

Bedford...
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2. Re: Too many resorts to choose from

Thanks for the suggestions. The Catalonia and Princess both seem to be more budget end resorts, while Secrets was on the higher side. Any more suggestions from anyone that put us in the mid price range ($250-$400/nite)? Thanks!

Morristown, New...
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3. Re: Too many resorts to choose from

They are on the low end of adults-only resorts, but there are resorts that are less expensive than these.... just not adults only. Others to consider would be Ambar (part of a larger complex), club at Majestic Elegance and club at Majestic Colonial. Also, Excellence is the only truly stand-alone adults only, but from a Turks and Caicos background, I'm not sure you'll enjoy the water up that far north.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Too many resorts to choose from

There are no high rise resorts in Punta Cana, to my knowledge. Typically 2 or 3 stories. There are some very large resorts, but they are spread out. There are some resorts that have more of a single building, hotel style, and others that have more of a villa style, with a bunch of smaller buildings (my preference).

There are high end boutique resorts like Tortuga Bay, Sanctuary Cap Cana, and Zoetry, and there are mega resort complexes like Gran Bahia Principe (about 3000 rooms), which has a bunch of sections, one of which is adult only (Ambar), and there are resorts in between.

All of the adult only resorts are part of larger complexes except Excellence, and the soon to be opened Breathless. Excellence is 450 rooms, and Breathless will be 750 rooms. Both have 8 restaurants and no reservations for dinner.

Some resorts that are adult only sections, but not huge complexes are Secrets Royal Beach, Paradisus Palma Real Royal Service, Majestic Colonial Club, Majestic Elegance Club, and Catalonia Royal Bavaro. These have lots of dining options, but most of the restaurants are not adult only.

Iberostar Grand Bavaro is very nice, and almost entirely self-contained, but still part of a large complex. It has 4 a la carte restaurants and a buffet, plus the restaurants at the other Iberostar resorts.

Royal Suites Turquesa is another adult only option. Two restaurants, with access to the restaurants at the other three Grand Palladium resorts. It's a large complex.

Barcelo Bavaro Beach is another adult only, on a very nice stretch of beach. Also part of a large complex.

Rule of thumb is wavier to the north, and calmer to the south. Here's a map: puntacanatv.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/P…

There are grocery stores and places to buy liquor, but I don't know why you'd bother when you're going to an all-inclusive.

With the exception of some organized excursions, and some clubs and such, most people stay put at the resort. They typically have all you need for your stay. Maybe a trip to the casino at the Hard Rock.

Mark

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Too many resorts to choose from

Excellence and Breathless would be higher end adult only resorts typically within the $250 to $400 per night price range, and in the size I think you're looking for. More waves, but very nice beaches. Tan sand, rather than the white sand you get to the south, but much less crowded and much less foot and boat traffic.

Mark

Edited: 13 September 2013, 20:27
North Carolina
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6. Re: Too many resorts to choose from

The RIU Macao is also an adult only AI that is part of the RIU complex. Haven't been there yet, but going in a month. We have been to other RIU resorts and were happy with the services, so we're trying the RIU Macao. This will be our first time to DR.

Sag Harbor, New York
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7. Re: Too many resorts to choose from

@TCTrish-Welcome to the Insanity! Here is how we choose our resorts. Maybe this will help you.

1-budget.

2-find resorts that fit the budget.

3make a list with three columns and call them 1-must have(amenities that are essential for you to enjoy your vacay) 2-must NOT have (things that the resort better NOT have or you wont go) and 3-neutral (amenities that you could care less about but it would not bother you if offered)

4 go through your list of resorts in your budget and see what resorts come as close as possible to exactly what you want.

5-zero in on your short list and start checking reviews (remember, the higher stars mean lots of amenities but the little circles tell you what the TA posters think of the resort).

6-narrow it down to a few resorts and then post a question here and you will get LOTS of opinions and great advice.

It works for us every time. :D

wisconsin
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8. Re: Too many resorts to choose from

As stated by Poozey, Punta Cana Princess, Catalonia royal, and secrets royal beach are all great AO AI's. Have been to all 3 and had a great time at all of them! We also do not like the large complexes, and these resorts fit our needs well! If you don't mind kids, you might also like the NOW Larimar, we spend alot of time there while at Secrets and enjoy it very much!

Cornwall, Canada
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9. Re: Too many resorts to choose from

Our system when trying to decide for our honeymoon last year, was very close to dawnskye's - we knew we'd really rather not have to make reservations for dinner, wanted smaller, quiet and intimate (no towel game if possible), swim-up room, big quiet beach, etc.

We'd set a budget (higher only because it was our honeymoon) and it took a LOT of searching, head-scratching and "what about's"... lol, but in the end, we feel we picked the perfect place and we had an unbelievably amazing time - a very special experience that we chalked up to "once in lifetime".

Problem now is, we loved it so much that we threw the budget part out the window and we're going back next July, lol.

Good luck choosing - let us know what you decide! PC is a truly beautiful place to be!

Worcester...
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10. Re: Too many resorts to choose from

Good luck with your research :-)