One of the biggest reasons people book an all-inclusive vacation is because it's stress-free -- everything is paid for upfront, so you can drink, dine, and play to your heart's content upon arrival. But not all-inclusives are created equal. Some are subpar spots with disappointing amenities, while others exceed expectations and deliver the most bang for your buck. Punta Cana is one of those destinations that's brimming with all-inclusives, meaning it's easy to wind up in a less-than-ideal property. So, whether you're a family of four on a budget or a couple that's able to throw down a bit of extra cash, here are our top picks for all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana that offer the most for your money.
Families in search of an all-inclusive resort at a bargain price need not look further than the Tropical Princess Beach Resort & Spa. It’s the lowest-priced of all four Princess-brand properties in Punta Cana, and is best for folks who don’t mind things being a little basic. Food options include three decent restaurants (including the main buffet), a snack shop, and a creperie, plus the on-site bars pour unlimited local beers and spirits. The 310 rooms here could use an update, though tons of free activities like kids’ clubs, non-motorized water sports, tennis courts, and two pools mean you’ll hardly need to be in it. The hotel’s biggest draw, however, is its gorgeous white-sand beach. There’s also a full-service spa, and guests here have access to some of the features, like the casino, restaurants, and bars, over at next-door Caribe Club (though this will all be at an additional cost).
The word “huge” doesn’t seem big enough to describe the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, which shelters 1,790 rooms, 13 pools and restaurants, 23 bars, an 18-hole golf course, a massive spa and fitness center, and the Dominican Republic’s largest casino. But the Hard Rock isn’t all about size — the massive luxury property also happens to be one of the nicest all-inclusives in Punta Cana. It’s equally suitable for families, couples, and those just looking to have a good time. With so much space, it’s easy for each group to find its niche, and the hotel’s long list of amenities ensures everyone will find something to keep themselves occupied. Oh, and did we mention there’s free parking and Wi-Fi?
The 1,402-room Barcelo Bavaro Palace is big on everything, including value. It’s part of the Barcelo Bavaro Grand Resort, which also includes three other properties. All rooms come with coffeemakers, minibars, and rainfall showers, though Wi-Fi is only free for those who dig a little deeper in their wallets and opt for a Premium Level room. Upgrading to a Premium Level room also means receiving extra perks like 24-hour room service and dinner at the gourmet French restaurant. Otherwise, you can look forward to 11 restaurants, four pools, and free non-motorized water sports, including windsurfing and snorkeling. Entertainment-wise, you’re set with a 24-hour casino, nightly shows, daytime activities, and a tranquil spa. Plus, kids will love the resort’s water park and mini-golf course.
Traveling without kids and have a little extra wiggle room in your wallet? Check out Punta Cana Princess All Suites Resort & Spa. This is the top-tier, adults-only Princess property in Punta Cana, and it comes with a fun atmosphere plus luxe perks like a 24-hour bar, access to features and entertainment at the the other Princess properties, and an overall modern and upscale look. The 263 rooms are all suites with minibars, coffeemakers, and living room areas. Honeymoon Suites add free welcome baskets with fresh fruit and booze, two free massages at the spa, and dinner at a restaurant that otherwise requires an additional fee. There are five dining options, including a steakhouse and fondue restaurant, tons of free activities on-site, and, of course, a beautiful beach.
Although it’s not directly on the beach, Memories Splash Punta Cana is home to the largest water park in the Caribbean, which comes with a hefty entrance fee for non-hotel guests. In addition to the waterslides and wave pool at the water park, guests here will get free minibars in their rooms, reservation-free dining at three a la carte restaurants and the main buffet, and free access to the kids’ and teens’ clubs. Padding the value even more is free Wi-Fi throughout, two swim-up bars, and a free shuttle that takes guests to and from the beach and nearby Royalton property.
For starters, the Occidental Punta Cana has an excellent location right on El Cortecito Beach. The Spanish-style buildings house 860 modern rooms stocked with minibars, pretty views, and personal outdoor space. However, this is a resort built for people who like to be outside. You’ll find three pools (including one with a waterfall), 11 restaurants on the all-inclusive plan, and a whopping 10 bars to make sure you never go thirsty. The free water sports include stand-up paddleboards, Hobie cats, and even a free intro scuba lesson in the pool, to name a few. Finally, nightly entertainment and an on-site club keep guests squeezing more bang out of their buck.
Excellence Punta Cana falls on the pricier side, but you get what you pay for — plus a little more — and this resort recently spent $45 million dollars on a full renovation. This is an especially great bang-for-your-buck option for travelers looking to wine and dine themselves and/or spark up some romance. Unlike several all-inclusives in town, rates here include Wi-Fi, plus 24-hour room service, premium alcohol, and upscale food items like lobster. The 450 rooms sport a mid-century modern vibe, jetted tubs, and minibars stocked with booze, liquor, and snacks. Spend your days walking on the secluded beach, wading in one of the three pools, participating in yoga, or sweating it out in the contemporary gym. There’s also a two-story spa with a hydrotherapy circuit, Spanish lessons, and free activities like horseback riding, scuba lessons, and bike tours.
Located on beautiful Bavaro Beach, the Majestic Colonial Punta Cana is split between the adults-only Colonial Club side and the family-friendly side. You’ll get plenty of bang for your buck, thanks to free Wi-Fi, eight restaurants with tasty food (including a sushi spot), a 1,300-foot lazy-river-style pool, and a fun atmosphere that encourages things like weekly foam parties. The 658 rooms are suite-style and feature marble floors, jetted tubs, and free minibars with liquor. Rooms on the adults-only side get butler service, plus dedicated pool and restaurant areas. There’s also tons to do on-site, including a casino, water sports, a fitness facility, and a gorgeous spa with a hydrotherapy circuit (though you’ll have to pay extra for that). It’s more expensive than other properties on this list, but it still offers great value, if you’re willing to go all in while you’re here.
Ocean Blue & Sand is a simple but upscale pick that packs a good bargain, though its party vibe and eroded beach area aren’t for everyone. However, if you’re just looking for a good time, a decent selection of food, and enough activities so you never go bored, this might be your spot. Expect two big pools, a poolside DJ spinning dance music, seven restaurants, four bars (including a swim-up option), and a whole slew of activities (a bowling alley, casino, water sports, and a climbing wall, to name a few). There’s also a kids’ club (this resort attracts a lot of families) and chic rooms with jetted tubs, minibars, and free Wi-Fi. In other words, the price is right for budget-friendly beachgoers looking for a more upscale version of fun in the sun.
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