What You Get in the Dominican Republic For…$150/Night (And Lower)

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We love winter weather during the holiday season. There’s nothing better than curling up by the fire and watching the snow fall and the lights twinkle outside. But after December, the doldrums of winter begin to set in, and by the time we reach February, we want OUT. But hey, that’s why they invented spring break, right? So, as part of our bang for your buck series we thought there’d be no better way to spend President’s Week than in the always warm and sunny Dominican Republic. The price: $150/night. The dates: February 21st through 28th. And we’re off!

Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort: $98/night

An all-out steal for $98/night, the Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort is a pristinely kept, all-inclusive property on a gorgeous white-sand beach in Puerto Plata. Though the beach gets crowded with vendors, you won’t find many rowdy spring breakers here. The hotel features numerous pools, catering to adults and children with both a swim-up bar and a waterslide. Updated rooms feature sleek decor and spacious marble bathrooms, and most have large balconies or patios. There are tons of great on-site activities, and the spa is one of the resort’s best features. While there are many dining options, however, the food is only mediocre. 

ClubHotel Riu Bachata: $147/night

With its inexpensive rates, the ClubHotel Riu Bachata attracts all kinds of travelers. Here, the main draw is the resort’s large beach and friendly staff. Don’t expect luxury accommodations — everything from the rooms, to the gym, to the lounge chairs is dated — but family-friendly amenities and free daily activities keep guests coming back year after year. Like the rest of the similarly priced all-inclusives in Puerto Plata, the food is mediocre and the pools and common areas are known to get crowded.  

Viva Wyndham Tangerine: $153/night

Located in Cabarete and Sosua, the Dominican hot spot for extreme water sports, Viva Wyndham Tangerine is an ideal hotel for vacationers interested in windsurfing or kitesurfing. The hotel is located on one of the area’s best beaches, and is only a 10-minute walk from downtown’s shopping and dining (some of the best in the D.R. thanks to a large European ex-pat population). Rooms are spacious, if a bit basic and bland, but guests seeking a quiet getaway will appreciate the hotel’s uncrowded, laid-back atmosphere. 

ClubHotel Riu Merengue: $154/night

ClubHotel Riu Merengue is a budget-friendly property in Puerto Plata that attracts families, couples, and solo travelers with its many features and affordable rates. The hotel’s large, pleasant beach is ideal for lounging and swimming, and there are several pools with activities such as volleyball. However, rooms are severely outdated and the on-site food needs some serious upgrading. We think the hotel’s sister property, the aforementioned ClubHotel Riu Bachata, is the better overall pick. 

VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort: $170/night

It’s amazing what 20 extra dollars a night can do for your hotel stay. While the VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort is a slightly over-budget pick, we think its safe location in a gated tourist complex, great restaurants, and beautiful rooms are worth the extra cash. We also love the exceptionally warm, friendly service, beautiful beach, and awesome (albeit crowded) zero-entry pool. Potential guests should note, however, that a la carte dining is limited to once per week, and the hotel’s buffet is less appealing than most others at all-inclusives in Puerto Plata.  

The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort: $169/night

Though The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort is another over-budget pick, it has some of the nicest guest rooms and amenities on our list. Standard rooms, while basic, are immaculately clean, and feature attractive decor and large balconies with comfortable adirondack chairs. The Tropical has multiple pools, a lovely beach with great daybeds, and a long list of free on-site activities that includes tennis, basketball, and water sports. But, like most resorts in Puerto Plata, the food is boring and the public beach gets crowded with vendors.   

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