Paradise beaches, usually with calm waters and thousands of coconut trees on the fine sand, accompanied by drinks and food (all, of all kinds) and a concierge who takes care of everything.
This is the routine of tourists staying in the resorts of Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, a destination that allows guests to leave the resort for nothing – for nothing, because they can even find a casino and a cabaret on site.
You don’t want peace and you’re tired of seeing waiters and waiters all the time? Okay and. Go to Isla Saona near the Caribbean Sea or take a more leisurely stroll along Bávaro Beach, which focuses on the gigantic development of trendy city hotels.
What is certain is that regardless of the choice, the biggest difficulty that visitors to Punta Cana will have when staying in its luxury resorts is to choose what they will want to eat or drink, from breakfast to bed. And yet, to solve the problem, all you have to do is access the resort app and define, if you choose an a la carte.
Maybe choosing your favorite pool or which sunbed around it or on the sand will be used is also on the list of “difficulties”.
Resorts such as Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa all-inclusive serve guests even on the sand. The fridge is always full and a restaurant will always be open.
When this reporter told the hotel employee at the door of the room that he only wanted a siphon and water to fill the minibar, he was amazed and replied, “Just?” “Are you sure that’s all?” he insisted.
Punta Cana is home to more than half of the hotels in the Dominican Republic, a country of about 10 million people in Central America, and is even sold as an all-inclusive destination, not least because the resort surroundings have few options compared to what see hotels.
It is located on an island divided by poor Haiti, and in February construction began on a wall that is expected to cover almost half of the country’s 392 kilometers of border with its neighboring country. The claim is to reduce illegal immigration.
The country expects to receive 7 million foreign tourists this year, which is a 9% increase over 2019, the last year without the impact of the pandemic on world tourism.
That year, 107,000 Brazilians were in the country, mostly from January to March and from November to December, according to the Brazilian Bureau of Tourism in the Dominican Republic. Twenty years ago, there were 4,000 Brazilian tourists.
The data with the highest tourist flow is not accidental and follows the hurricane calendar, which can normally hit the region from June to October.
The average stay for Brazilians is six to seven days in the country, more than four or five for North American tourists. The distance explains.
The pandemic has reduced the number of Brazilians to 41,000 in 2021, but large hotels such as Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa have already returned to pre-pandemic levels in terms of guest profile, with a predominance of US tourists , Canadians and Europeans, followed by South Americans – as well as Brazilians, Argentines and Uruguayans.
In it, guests can venture into a casino or enjoy the night at Chic, a cabaret with a tasting menu and over two hours of music performances. They are one of the few options that pay separately (from 35 USD to 135 USD, depending on the resort you are in) and the customer can taste dishes with shells, duck and ribs, among others.
Punta Cana, however, is more than the hype resorts. Attractions outside the hotels culminate in the natural landscape, but invariably not cheap tours due to the current exchange rate.
An example is Isla Saona, which has only 300 inhabitants, and is reached after almost two hours by a catamaran that takes tourists to the place across the Caribbean Sea, amid Latin music and a lot of Roma.
The $ 100 tour includes drinks and lunch on the island. Unlike the resorts, Saona food is very simple, unsophisticated, served with cutlery and disposable plastic.
This does not prevent you from enjoying the main itinerary offered in the destination, which lasts all day and only for the blue of the waters you would have already paid. The sea tour, with tourists already tired (very tired), is done on motor boats, stopping at the natural pools in the Caribbean.
Another option is parasailing, in which the tourist, with a kind of parachute, is towed by a motor boat in the ocean and reaches 80 meters of water. The cost can range from $ 60 to $ 100 (two people) for about 15 minutes.
Coco Bongo, a downtown open bar, offers nightlife for about five hours, with an average of 50 artists, including musicians and acrobats, on stage.
Although it is not necessary to spend money during your stay, it is recommended to bring Dominican pesos, as tourists will hardly receive a dollar exchange. On trips, care is also taken with the price of souvenirs.
And, after a day of rest on the beach or adventures on the sea, you can still be lucky to see a wedding on the sand, common at Grand Palladium, which has four resorts in the same area – one of them, TRS Turquesa, exclusively for adults.
The location has 15 restaurants, 25 bars and has hot tubs in all 1,993 apartments. Each restaurant has its own chef and two others are responsible for the overall coordination of the restaurant, according to Antonio Parrado, the hotel’s general manager.
The most sought after families are dedicated to Italian and Mexican meat and cuisine.
The cost of accommodation in resorts varies depending on the category and the time of year. Seven days at Grand Palladium Bávaro, one of the resorts, can cost BRL 8,500 for two adults. It is possible to buy airline tickets on Copa Airlines for $ 606 per person.