Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The 170-room Punta Cana Hotel is in the center of Oscar de la Renta-designed Tortuga Bay, Villa Estate rental homes, and residential communities. The property also features La Cana golf course, and two newer courses plus the Six Senses spa, a full-service , and a huge, private beach, as well as its own Ecological Preserve. The resort even funds its own Ecological preservation programs, Center for Sustainability and Biodiversity, among other Ecological programs. Nightlife is virtually nonexistent -- guests come for quiet luxury., a gated, 26-square-mile property that includes
shallow pool at the hotel entrance lend to subdued elegance. The peaceful lobby acts as a reservoir for guests using the free or waiting for resort shuttles (golf carts) to swing them around to the or . The understated fills a slow rotation of guests with rum punch and mojitos., rambling , and a
The quiet, reserved guests keep mostly to themselves as they navigate between beach, golf course, and room, usually on one of the resort's golf cart shuttles. About the only disturbance you might find comes from teenage guests careening around pathways in their rented golf carts. Small clusters of guests hang out all over the resort, but the resort is never crowded -- even the is calm and orderly (not something you'd find at the nearby all-inclusive resorts).,
The resort is located inside the gated, 26-square-mile Punta Cana Resort & Club property, which houses dozens of amenities, two hotels, private homes, and rental villas. The resort will arrange transportation to and from the airport, about a 7 minute drive.
Outside the complex, finding things to do in the area is difficult. The resort is at least a 30-minute taxi ride from towns like Friusa and Bavaro, where there are a limited number of restaurants and local nightclubs.
The hotel's huge beach enjoys shallow, calm water with only negligible seaweed and fine, smooth white sand. There are few guests, so finding quiet is easy.
Located on the southern stretch of Punta Cana's coast, the water is generally calmer, clearer, and shallower than the beaches to the north, along . Small amounts of wash up from the water, but it isn't seriously offensive, and the resort keeps the beach very clean. A large portion of this shallow beach is ideal for swimming, and playing in the water with young children.
Only a handful of guests are scattered along the huge beach here, so it's far calmer and quieter than most other resort beaches you'll find in Punta Cana (or other parts of the D.R., for that matter). Relaxed guests read on the sufficient supply of simple plastic lounge chairs or the cluster of hammocks near the water-sports facility, which includes a PADI-certified dive center. A volleyball net and a bocce court are also on the beach.
Four types of units are available: deluxe rooms, which are located along the beach and have a single room; deluxe suites, one- and two-story suites that feature separate lounge and sleep areas; Beach Casitas, two- or three-bedroom houses along the beach, and Marina Apartments, one-bedroom units that feature living rooms, kitchens, dinettes, private bathrooms with seperate shower and tub, daily housekeeping, a large pool, and Marina access. Furnishings and décor are different in all units, but all were refurbished in 2009 with new bedding, new paint, flat-screen TVs and stylish decor. When Oyster visited prior to the refurbishment, the rooms seemed almost austere, so the hotel's worked to make them more modern is appreciated. There are no mini-bars, and no music or DVD player, but if you can get a good price you'll find little to complain about.
Deluxe suites can come with two stories, separated by a walled staircase. The lower level includes a large living room with its own full bathroom, sitting area, separate table and chairs, and a television. It also has sliding doors to its own small ground-level patio. Families can easily fit an extra, roll-away bed into this space, but the isn't fold-out.
Upstairs, the large bedroom comes with a comfortable, king-size bed with clean white linens. The bedroom is simply furnished with a small and its own television. There's also a second full bathroom, which is almost identical to the one on the lower level. It also has its own balcony with a table and set of chairs.
The marble bathrooms are clean, but not especially elegant or sexy. The bathtub and shower units are functional, but pretty basic, as is the set of Lord & Mayfair bath products are provided in both bathrooms. are provided on the bathroom counter, but there are only a couple of bottles of water in the room (annoying, as the water here is non-potable).
Amenities are plentiful at the Puntacana Hotel. Guests have access to two pools on the resort. Only the main pool, however, is conveniently located near guest-rooms and other hotel facilities. It has a bar and drinks service, and several wicker lounge chairs placed around the pool. A decorative fountain next to the stairways leading to the pool adds to the atmosphere. The tennis pool is, obviously, near the tennis courts and, though beautiful, does not generate that much traffic, probably due to the inconvenient location relative to rooms and other hotel facilities.
Three oceanside golf courses conceived by world-class designers P.B. Dye and Tom Fazio.
The 18-hole La Cana golf course at the Punta Cana Estates property, which surrounds Tortuga, was designed by P.B. Dye. Fourteen of the 18 holes run along the ocean and the course was written up in Golf Digest. Greens Fees for nine holes and for 18 are reasonable. There are also reduced afternoon rates for players who tee up after 2:30 p.m.
The Corales course designed by Tom Fazio features six oceanfront holes and beautiful canyon backdrops with exclusive rates for hotel guests.
The Hacienda, also designed by Pete Dye opened in early 2012 and is the beautiful centerpiece of a housing community on the property.
A full-service Six Senses is located in the Club House. The spa and development company has several luxury resorts and spas throughout the world. This is one of the D.R.'s best luxury spas. It focuses on natural products, administering treatments with its own line as well as Sodashi skin care from Australia. Inside, it features several large, clean, and modern facilities, including a sauna, steam room, baths, and showers. There is also a separate outdoor section of the spa, complete with Jacuzzis, showers, and massage/treatment cabanas that overlook the ocean. Guests can also relax in the 15 natural spring water lagoons in the Ecological Reserve on-site.
The quiet, reserved nature of the resort means that children may not meet a lot of playmates at the pool every day. It also means they won't intermingle with drunken spring breakers. For hands-on parents or independent kids, the Hotel Punta Cana is a great pick.
Cribs are available free of charge. Roll-away beds are also available, but in the rooms and suites they cost extra per night. In the Beach Casitas, they're free.
There is no kids' club or full schedule of children's activities, nor is there a lifeguard on duty at the beach or pools, but childcare is available. With parent supervision, though, there are tons of kid-friendly activities on the property, like the ecological preserve and its lagoon pools, the petting zoo, golf, , or just hanging on the beautiful beach.
The excellent restaurants. They close early, so lack of room service is annoying.is free. Other meals are paid for à la carte at the eight
The resort has eight restaurants, which are open to all guests within the complex. The La Cana is included in the cost per night, but other meals are charged to the room. Meals at most restaurants can be expensive. No room service is available, and, given the limited late-night dining options, this is especially annoying.breakfast served in
One of the only resorts in the D.R. to emphasize environmental preservation and education, the complex has its own ecological foundation and nature preserve. Nods to this theme lie around the resort, like the in the lobby or the framed botanical sketches in the rooms.
"Indigenous Eyes" is a 1,500 acre on-site ecological preserve. Along it, flat trails and pathways lead to 12 clear lagoons, all of which are open for swimming. It's possible to walk all the way through the preserve to the northernmost edge of the resort, but good walking shoes are recommended. The forest is full of large spiders, lizards, and other native Dominican fauna. It is owned by Puntacana Ecological Foundation as part of its commitment to sustainable tourism. It is one of the only areas of coastal forest habitat in Punta Cana.
A beautiful setting and amazing service at fair prices, considering that the food is far better here than it is at the all-inclusive resorts
Unlike at the all-inclusive resorts, most wedding details are up to you -- a great advantage, if you want a personal touch and don't mind a little extra legwork.
The Puntacana Hotel's 170 suites are steps away from the beach, on a giant property that includes three golf courses, including La Cana, Six Senses spa, a nature preserve, eight restaurants, horse stables, and more. La Romana's Casa de Campo is nearly identical, unless you're a pro golfer -- Casa de Campo's Teeth of the Dog beats La Cana.