Sanctuary Cap Cana Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Built in 2009, the 176-room Sanctuary Cap Cana looks like a small Spanish village perched on a cliff by the ocean -- note the breathtaking views. Its beautifully decorated pools, spa, golf course, modern rooms and restaurants are all among the D.R.'s best.
Paradisus Palma Real Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The D.R.'s fanciest and most expensive all-inclusive, Palma Real has quality restaurants, a less-crowded beach, an enormous pool, free horseback riding, personalized service, beautiful grounds, and in-room Jacuzzis. You get a lot more for your money. But it's still a 554-room mega-resort. Expect a crowd, albeit a well-behaved, mature one.
Zoetry Agua Punta Cana Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This secluded 53-room getaway is an hour from the airport on a bumpy dirt road, but it feels a million miles from Punta Cana's mega-resorts. Giant rooms with gorgeous terraces, a top-notch spa, and two high-quality restaurants are all great, but when rates reach more than $600 per night, a twig-strewn beach and limited food options feel a bit disappointing.
Dreams Punta Cana Resort and Spa Rating: 3.5 Pearls
A blasting, 620-room mega-resort with uniquely attentive service, Dreams packs in more goodies than most Punta Cana all-inclusives--including a mechanical bull, rock climbing wall, modern gym, full spa, massive streaming pool, six restaurants and 24-hour room service. But the Majestic Colonial is nearly identical (minus the family focus), so it's worth comparing rates.
Majestic Colonial Punta Cana Rating: 4.0 Pearls
A giant pool, a wide selection of quality food, name-brand liquor, and a crowded but beautiful stretch of white-sand beach draw families, retirees, and young partiers alike. With 659 rooms, it's not intimate, and service is impersonal, but the Jacuzzi-outfitted rooms have a more romantic vibe than at most all-inclusives.
Occidental Grand Punta Cana Rating: 3.5 Pearls
An 877-room all-inclusive, the Occidental draws mostly young families with its massive, lagoon-shaped pool (one of Punta Cana's best), popular beachside activities, lively entertainment, many restaurants, and all-night pizzeria. Rooms are well-decorated, and even include spa robes and slippers. Reasonably priced, this all-inclusive has bang for the buck.
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa Rating: 3.5 Pearls
All rooms at the 425-room Punta Cana, part of an 1,825-room mega-resort complex, feature in-room Jacuzzis, but the real draws are the clean white-sand beach, access to four free-form pools, and eight reservation-free restaurants with some of the D.R.'s best all-inclusive fare -- a good value, if you don't mind scrounging for a rogue lounge chair.
Punta Cana Princess All Suites Resort and Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
A 270-room, adults-only resort with a quiet expanse of beach, a large pool with Balinese beds, and bright rooms, the Punta Cana Princess attracts a more mature crowd. But with access to the adjacent Caribe Princess and Tropical Princess, guests don't miss out on the gym or late night bars, making this resort a great value.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Quality food, oceanfront bungalows, free trapeze lessons, and beachside canopy beds make this 600-room resort an excellent value. The sexy, 80-percent Italian clientele doesn't hurt either. There are some minor cleanliness issues, like debris in the pool, but the beach has some of the softest sand and clearest water in the D.R. (though there are the occasional coral rocks).
Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The quiet, adults-only (18+), 400-room Ambar is a self-sufficient enclave within an enormous, three-resort complex. With its own superior-quality restaurants, quiet pool, white-sand beach, sparkling gym, quality spa, and huge, romantic suites, it's an elegant alternative to wilder, kid-filled resorts. Still, fun at the disco is a 15-minute hike away.
Iberostar Costa Dorada Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
For a massive, hyper-indulgent all-inclusive mega-resort, the Iberostar Costa Dorada is the best in Puerto Plata -- great buffets, activities, entertainment, liquor, and service. Sure, there's no gym and the giant pool can get a little chilly. But to the many guests who come back every year, those are just petty details.
Grand Paradise Playa Dorada Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Located in the safe mini-tourist city of Playa Dorada, this family-friendly resort has an excellent buffet, some of the newest, cleanest rooms in the D.R., and one of the best beaches on the north coast. It's an incredible bargain, if you ignore the cheap booze, the lingering service kinks, and a pool that's less awe-inspiring than others.