ALL INCLUSIVE RESORTS
As you may already know, the Punta Cana area consists almost exclusively of large all-inclusive (AI) resorts that cater beautifully to every vacation budget and agenda. The best thing when you choose to do an AI Caribbean vacation it is definitely the fact you don’t have to worry about how big the check will be at dinner, or wondering if you are going to have to sell your wife’s jewelry to cover the bar bill.
The big dilemma when you decide to go on holidays in Punta Cana is always the choice of the resort. What’s the best resort? My advice when choosing a hotel is always think about what is important to you. It might be the pool (check the Majestic Elegance’ Lagoon) it may be the beach (all those in the area between El Cortecito and Bavaro Beach). For someone could be the swim-up bar (Catalonia Bavaro Beach is the choice) while for someone else it is important to have nice restaurants to choose from (probably Iberostar Grand Bavaro). Couples might be more interested in an adult-only resort (Iberostar Grand Bavaro and Excelence) , families in a kid-friendly one (Dreams and Ocean Blue and Sand).
Also if you’re planning to go off-resort to shopping or just discover a bit more of the real Dominican life and you don’t want to spend a fortune in cabs bear in mind that Punta Cana is a big area not a city and most resorts are particularly isolated from the world nearby. In this case choose one close to El Cortecito or Friusa (Occidental or Hard Rock Hotel) that are the only areas where you can find a good number of local hang-outs, restaurants, small shops, and more.
The biggest mistake you can ever make is to choose a resort that does not match your vacation needs. You will wind up having a not enjoyable experience. That is why you are advised to take the trouble of understanding what a resort should have.
NON ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS
Now Punta Cana all inclusive resorts are world famous but it’s important to highlight the fact that Punta Cana also presents a large variety of non-all inclusive resorts and budget hotels. A non-all inclusive resort is usually the choice for those people who would rather not eat in the same hotel every day but prefer to discover different kinds of cuisine or intend to spend a part of their vacation off-resort. At the moment there are around 10 non-all inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, with Tortuga Bay, Eden Roc and Sivory as the more popular. Here a complete list provided by PuntaCanaTv.com:
So now the big question. Is better an AI resort or a NON-AI? Well, like always, every choice presents pros ans cons. If you choose an all-inclusive resort:
– You know how much money you will spend prior to your vacation;
– Drinks, alcoholic and non, are available anytime during the day;
– No need to visit the grocery store or make any meals;
– Amazing scenery. All-inclusive resorts are known for their picturesque locations. If you are meant to stay in the resort, it had better be beautiful!
– Dining choices are limited to those at your resort, as well as requiring reservations for a la carte restaurants with limited dining times;
– Poor food quality (I’m sure there are some exceptions, but many all-inclusive resorts pack their menu or buffet with starchy, filling, inexpensive foods. The restaurants may also have strict hours, making it difficult for you to eat late at night or between meals);
– You might feel a little stuck within the resort because you paid for everything there and don’t want to go over budget with off-site activities;
– Many vacation activities will still not be included such as tours and excursions as well as motorized watersports and spa services;
– If you are not big eaters or drinkers, all inclusive may be more expensive.