Punta Cana, a city located on the eastern tip of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic, has been a popular tourist destination since the 1970s. Known for its beaches and abundance of watersports, there is never a shortage of activities to try. But where are the top spots to stay?
Located 20 miles north-west of the busy Bávaro resort strip, the Sivory Punta Cana is the perfect hotel for those looking for some privacy and the chance to immerse themselves in the wild beauty of the Dominican Republic. Each of the resort’s 55 suites is equipped with a balcony and either a personal plunge pool or Jacuzzi. The interiors combine East Asian and Caribbean design elements to create an elegant and smooth transition between interior and exterior living spaces, and in addition to lounging by the infinity pool, the resort offers guests a plethora of activities to keep busy, such as golfing, sailing and even deep-sea fishing trips.
A part of the Puntacana Resort & Club, a luxury real estate and resort community, Tortuga Bay Hotel offers guests a truly extravagant Caribbean experience. Located in a secluded part of the larger resort, Tortuga Bay is comprised of thirteen villas ranging from one-bedroom to four-bedroom suites. The interiors of each were designed by world-renowned designer, Oscar de la Renta, and exude a distinctly Dominican flair. As the only AAA Five Diamond awarded property in the Dominican Republic, the service is expectedly top-notch. Guest amenities include, but are not limited to, a personal butler service, beach access, a golf cart, Jacuzzi-sized bathtubs and a VIP service to bring you to and from the airport.
Located along Uvero Alto Beach, the Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana is about 20 miles north-west of the main resort strip of Bávaro. Despite being an hour away by car from Punta Cana International Airport, the resort is a popular destination for honeymooners, who desire the seclusion. The hotel’s 96 cane-thatched suites feature private terraces, deep soaker tubs and Bvlgari bath amenities. And if the 400 yards of private beach aren’t enough to keep you entertained, the Zoëtry Endless Privileges program offers guests the opportunity to participate in activities such as spa treatments and guided tours of the surrounding cultural landmarks.
While it isn’t technically located right on the beach, the 7,000-acre Casa de Campo has so many on-site activities you’ll hardly miss the ocean at all, even though it’s just a quick golf cart ride away. The resort is certainly a paradise for golfers, featuring three courses designed by Pete Dye, including the notoriously challenging “Teeth of the Dog” course. Guests can also spend the day at the spa, playing polo, kayaking, or lounging at the pool. While the various levels of standard rooms are quite spacious, the hotel is also accommodating to large groups, who can book private villas that range in size from three to seven bedrooms.
Situated on the southern end of Punta Cana’s resort row, the Meliá Caribe Tropical is the perfect place to take in the sights and sounds of Bávaro Beach. Extremely family-friendly, this resort offers families a plethora of activities and accommodations to keep the little ones busy. Younger guests are kept entertained with an arcade, in-room PlayStations and even a mini theme park called The Flintstones Land. The Meliá Caribe Tropical doesn’t forget its older guests however: Adults can enjoy a couple’s massage, a night of gambling in the on-site casino or bonding over a dinner in one of the resort’s 13 restaurants.
Club Med properties are, for the most part, known as resorts where couples can get away from it all in a location of their choosing. However, the Club Med Punta Cana caters largely towards families. As a result, the 631 rooms are quite large and outfitted with modern amenities to make every guest feel at home. Together, families can enjoy engaging activities such as tennis lessons, kayaking or snorkeling. When parents need a break, the resort offers entertainment programs to accommodate kids of all ages. Young kids can participate in supervised games and art projects, while teens can hang out in their own club, The Lab at the Ramp.
A consistent winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award, Guesthouse Las Piedras is the perfect place to experience Punta Cana more intimately than at a large resort. A three-minute walk to the restaurants and shopping at the center of Bávaro and just 10 minutes from the beach, this quaint bed and breakfast run by a local husband and wife team boasts an optimum location for very reasonable prices. Two guests share a private room equipped with a bathroom, fridge, fan and even free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is offered every morning along with the possibility of lunch and dinner. Oh, and the food is rumored to be top-notch!
Located a mere 200 meters from the Los Corales entrance to Bávaro Beach in Bávaro, Punta Cana, Chateau del Mar is situated about as close to the turquoise Caribbean waters as you can get here. The hotel’s one to three-bedroom suites all offer a patio or balcony with at least a partial ocean view, a TV, air conditioning, a full kitchen and access to the hotel’s pool. Those who choose to stay in the three-bedroom penthouse suites also have rooftop terraces complete with a gazebo and a Jacuzzi. More adventurous guests can also easily find adrenaline-inducing activities, such as parasailing and kite surfing, all just a few steps away from their hotel door.
Family-friendly resorts are great and all, but here’s one just for the adults. Literally. The Excellence Punta Cana, winner of the AAA/CAA Four Diamond Lodgings award and located about 30 miles north of Punta Cana proper, doesn’t accept guests under the age of 18. There’s no screaming, no crying, just blissful peace and quiet. The resort’s spacious suites keep the romance alive with king-sized beds and private Jacuzzis. Guests can also spend time relaxing by the pool, taking scuba lessons, enjoying a massage at the Millé Spa, or exploring the menus at the Excellence’s 10 different on-site restaurants! Nice.