I’ve been incredibly busy with work, so travel has been taking a bit of a back seat. I’ve instead been visiting quite a few new places London has to offer! So make sure you visit back once I get around to doing those. Lol
Normally I like to plan trips with a mix of culture, relaxation and a bit of partying, but this trip in September, my emphasis was on relaxation so an itinerary completely went out of the window! Plus it was a friends birthday, so I was merely a guest for once. Sometimes a re-charge trip is just what you need!
I probably also need to add – I think I may have counted my country list wrong. LOL. This is either Country 27 or 28 but the destination was: Dominican Republic.
Flights to Punta Cana with BA fly out of London Gatwick – I also recommend parking with Gatwick’s official parking on – site, which makes life much easier than these other third parties! You also get a great price on Premium Security passes, which mean you whizz through pretty quickly! This is still also one of the only places where you can pick up a Nando’s Breakfast – so that’s always a welcome pitstop.
Santa Domingo International Airport in Punta Cana is about 8.5 hour flight away from London. A good selection of films plus the fact BA hands out Magnum Ice Creams mid flight – definitely helps to pass the time!
Before arriving we researched transfers in the DR as it didn’t come as part of the package we booked on this occasion. Dominicanplus had amazing reviews and most importantly a brilliant price for private transfers. Especially when I’ve been on a long flight, I like to get to my Vacay Abode asap in an ideal world.
We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Hard Rock Hotel & Casino which is about 25 mins from the airport. The Hard Rock is a vast complex with a tram ( think of an elongated golf cart!) to get round.
It’s huge! 11 pools and restaurants with the hard rock music theme renowned in all of their sites. The resort is all inclusive, with drinks dispensers in each of the guest rooms and the resort is situated directly on the beach front. Each of the rooms also come with a hot tub!
The main pool is where the vibes are at, but after a couple of days, it does replicate, so we shifted pools throughout our time.
I visited these places on – site: Restaurants: Bistro Med, The Market, Isla, Zen & Toro. We also spent the night in Oro Nightclub. It’s worth mentioning that this resort is truly all inclusive, including room service etc but all guests have to pay to experience Oro.
I’ve stayed at a Hard Rock before and think the brand is great for groups and families, also for couples you have the next Rock Royalty level which offers a bit more exclusivity and privacy from the main areas.
The spa is an absolute must visit! It’s huge and well worth it, especially if you get given resort credit as part of your package, you then only have to pay 20% of the prices – which was brilliant!
I’d say the quality of food wasn’t great at breakfast time and found this particular resort to not be of the same level of Hard Rock’s in other cities, but found dinner in the restaurants more on par with the quality you’d expect from a 5 star resort. So definitely bear that in mind!
Check out their latest deal if you fancy a trip with the kids!
The one splash out we decided we wanted to do, despite being incredibly lazy this particular trip, was a boat trip to make two of our groups birthdays and we found a great company to do just that. Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures
Mary and her team were absolutely fantastic, we were pretty last minute and they were great in accommodating our group of 15. We opted for a private half day tour with a pick up from our hotel, as we wanted to just have our group on board and to play our own music. They equipped us with a photographer who took some amazing photos which really helped in making it special. We were given the option to snorkel, enjoy coconut cocktails onboard the beach and they cooked some very tasty langoustine and prawns on board! So I’d definitely recommend this company.
The island was a lot of fun, with a strong emphasis on music specifically, which is of course what we love!
Dom Rep was never originally on my list of must visits, as I much preferred to listen to the story and struggle of it’s neighbours, the beautiful Haiti, who always ends up in it’s shadow. I do feel when you travel to destinations you should educate yourself of its current and past climates, to make informed decisions when you travel or spend money. Perhaps I’ll be back to explore and spend more time with the locals, but on first visit, my group certainly left with a positive experience.
Have you been to Dominican Republic before? Would you suggest any must sees if I returned?