Our visit to the Dominican Republic was truly beautiful.
I’ve held off on writing this post due to all the latest reports coming out of the Dominican Republic. I just want to preface this by saying I never felt unsafe at the resort we were staying at or did I ever feel any animosity from the locals. The amount of American deaths in the DR that have been reported since our trip has been out of control & I really hope the families of these victims get some justice.
Ok back to our trip….Alex & I went to the Dominican Republic for 9 days with his family in May. We stayed in Cabarete Beach (totally on the opposite side of the island from the more touristy section of Punta Cana). Cabarete Beach is near Sousa Beach- a very quiet, more family friendly part of the Dominican Republic. The all inclusive resort we stayed at was the Viva Wyndham Tangerine.
I just want to say that the island was BEAUTIFUL! The water was that perfect blue Caribbean salt water. The beaches spanned for miles & there were palm trees galore. Literally my dream of the perfect vacation. On the other hand, there were parts of the island that definitely reminded you that you were in a third world country. The amount of poverty & devastation was apparent and common throughout the island. It was humbling to see & also really reminded me how grateful I truly am to be living in this country.
Our resort was beachside, included two pools & tons of daily entertainment.
Having access to the beach & being able to hop from the pool to beach easily was awesome. The only downside of the beach were all the locals trying to sell you things- jewelry, sunglasses, cigars, trips, hair braiding- you name it! They wouldn’t leave you alone until you bought something- so after some new sunglasses, an anklet or two & some braids- I was left in peace the rest of our time there! I also loved watching the kite surfers every day. It’s super expensive to do (around $600 to learn) but looked like a lot of fun. The pool area was very clean, beach towels were provided daily & there was always music playing.
There were three restaurants where you could make dinner reservations as well as an international buffet that was open daily for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Unfortunately the food wasn’t that great. I know I’m a picky eater but some of the food was just a little too weird for me. The dinners at the three restaurants had some great options (Italian, Mexican & a fusion restaurant). I was a sucker for the bread- they had specialty breads & rolls every day and I couldn’t help but treat myself.
As for the rooms in the resort, they were your basic hotel rooms.
Our room had two double beds with a TV, balcony & bathroom. The rooms were clean & housekeeping came daily as in most places. You also got two bottles of water a day which put me at ease. I’ve heard horror stories about drinking the tap water in other countries & just kept picturing that scene from the Sex & the City movie. You know the one of Charlotte drinking the water in Mexico & then shitting her pants? I was so terrified that would be me. Glad to report I did not have the same experience as Charlotte!
The daily activities ranged from morning yoga, karaoke, Zumba classes, beach volleyball & so much more. I did not participate in a single one as all I wanted to do was read my book in the sun this whole trip. This resort was definitely kid friendly- there were so many kid related activities to keep your little ones occupied while Mommy & Daddy could enjoy cocktails by the pool.
One downside was that there was only one bar (the other bar located on the resort was a cash only bar with top shelf liquor). Part of the all inclusive deal was all day cocktails by the pool. We found the drinks to be watered down & we even questioned if there was any alcohol at all in those drinks! A quick trip to the local liquor store fixed that problem!
As for the daily trips offered at the resort- there were SO many options.
From scuba diving to exploring tiny islands, there is an adventure for everyone! We chose to go deep sea fishing, not my first choice but it’s what the group wanted to do! Going off the resort was a little sketchy (the Tom Hanks movie Caption Phillips came to mind) but the trip turned out to be awesome. Our 4 hour excursion took us way out into the ocean in search of marlin. We didn’t catch anything, but did see a huge marlin jump out of the water! And I didn’t get sea sick- so all in all it was a good day!
I’d say the only reason I wouldn’t recommend this resort would be because of the food. Other than that, we had a great time, enjoyed ample time in the sun & just got the rest and relaxation we were looking for. Would I be traveling back to the DR? Not any time soon with Americans dropping left and right. Maybe one day & this time definitely an adults only resort with strong booze & yummy food.