Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
At times almost eerily quiet, the 53-room resort is a luxurious, and expensive, destination. In the midst of a recession, an exhorbitant room rate in a hard-to-reach location is tough to justify, so guests were few and far between when Oyster originally visited. Only seeing other guests at breakfast and dinner (there were just two other couples staying there at the time), human interaction was largely with the attentive maid or groundskeeper along the paths.
Anyone seeking peace and quiet will be delighted with Agua. With massive suites, secluded terraces, and private plunge pools, there's hardly any reason to leave the suite if that's what you want. For this reason, Agua is probably one of the best honeymoon spots in the Caribbean.
Agua is very couples-friendly, and the majority of Agua's guests are from the United States (a rarity in the D.R.), although it also gets plenty of visitors from Europe and South America.
For those who get carsick (and it's easy to do on Punta Cana's winding, bumpy roads), the resort will also arrange a 10-minute helicopter ride.
Pervasive Punta Cana standards, as is the somewhat . But there’s plenty of privacy and warm water.in the sand are a great disappointment by
During Oyster's stay, the resort's beach was virtually deserted -- a refreshing contrast to the clogged mass of humanity typical of the area's many mega-resort beaches.
Strolling barefoot along the empty beach past other quiet resorts, including the next door neighbor, Sivory, which looked just as empty, is an enjoyable way to wile away the afternoon. The gentle waves are as warm as bathwater, and the soft, wet sandbars make for perfect walking conditions. Horseback riding tours can often be seen trodding along as well.
A bamboo screen separates the bedroom from the three-part bathroom area, which includes two Grohe vanity sinks, a separate toilet and bidet room, and a wood-and-slate shower and soaking tub trimmed with the same light prevalent throughout the resort. (But note that water pressure and temperature can sometimes be spotty.) Fresh hibiscus sprigs are also scattered throughout.
The room's terrace is large enough for a table and two beautifully carved wooden chairs as well as a linen loveseat. Small lizards can be seen scurrying in and out of the love seat cushions (and sometimes in the room), but the area is large enough to host a small cocktail party, and lizards are typical sights in the D.R.
The terrace on the ground-floor Agua Garden View Suite, like most suites, has direct access to the narrow serpentine pool that winds its way through half of the property. The daybeds placed strategically around the pool make for a perfect spot to catch up on some reading in the afternoon sun.
Rooms do have a bevy of deluxe features, including wonderful Bvlgari bath products, a JVC flat-screen TV, a DVD player, and a Frette robe and slippers. As a welcome, the hotel has a silver platter filled with creatively presented fresh fruit waiting upon the minimalist desk.
Suites are wired with free Wi-Fi (a rarity in the D.R.). The TV receives few English-language channels – CNN and ESPN, among them – and has a tendency to freeze.
The resort has two narrow, shallow pool snakes through the property and essentially amounts to a plunge pool for ground-floor garden villas. You can jump right in from your terrace, but there are also strategically placed daybeds along the edge. The pool could be a little cleaner – branches and flower petals occasionally float past, and some stains can be seen – but it's refreshing and more protected from the stiff sea breeze than the oceanfront infinity pool. But on hot days the oceanfront pool is quite nice.. A
A single tennis court and the gym are adjacent to the spa complex. The gym is small but has modern enough equipment (no personal video screens or any high-tech gadgets). The tennis court is next to a vacant lot, where construction was underway when Oyster visited in 2010. One side of the court has no wall, so balls can easily get lost in the nearby weeds.
Because of its luxurious amenities, personal service, and attractive grounds, Agua is a lovely spot for weddings, and it does host the occasional fete.
The resort doesn't get many children, but it does try to accommodate families.
There is a small, fairly precious playroom filled with books and games and a jungle gym out back. The chefs in the restaurants are also happy to prepare custom, kid-friendly meals. Baby sitters are available on request. That said, the resort is definitely geared toward peace, quiet, and relaxation, and only the calmest, best-behaved children are likely to enjoy it.
The stray tinyaside, Agua is in good condition. As mentioned earlier, the pools could have been a bit cleaner, but overall it is a solid choice.
The resort has three restaurants: Olena, Indigo and Amaya. Between the three, you have the choice of Spanish, Dominican and "all-world" style food, which basically means European cuisine. Also, each restaurant claims to use locally-grown ingredients in each dish.
If you're dining, you're expected to abide by the dress code, which has been dubbed "casual elegance." It requires guests to wear dress shirts with sleeves, and long pants for men. No flip flops or sleeveless shirts are allowed.
Room service is available 24/7. Private dining can also be arranged at various locations.
There are three bars: Canoa Lobby Bar, Coco cafe, and Indigo, all near the oceanfront.
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 three high-quality restaurants are all great, but when rates skyrocket, a twig-strewn beach and limited food options feel a bit disappointing.