We've stayed -- and dined -- at Punta Cana's best hotels, so great food is the No. 1 priority for making it onto this list. But in addition to fresh ingredients and well-executed entrees, we also give due credit to exceptional service and unique, elegant settings.
The 55-room Sivory boutique hotel has three premier restaurants on-site. Dining options include Asian fusion at Tau, Mediterranean at Laveranda, and upscale French cuisine at Gourmond, which has a wine cellar stocked with 8,000 bottles. Blu, a poolside bar, also serves tasty tapas during the day. Dining can be expensive -- a single small box of Frosted Flakes costs $8 -- but all-inclusive meal plans are also available.
Offering eight premier restaurants across its expansive resort property, the Punta Cana's food selection is outstanding. Among the highlights is the Oscar de la Renta-designed Cocoloba restaurant, which serves modern Dominican cuisine in an intimate dining room that is encased by tall French doors and windows. The chef prepares menu specials nightly based on fresh ingredients in the kitchen, and is extremely accommodating to guest preferences (whether or not the orders are even on the menu). Plus, the buffet breakfast, served in La Cana, is free.
Tortuga Bay, also inside the same upscale resort and condo complex as the Punta Cana Hotel, has another Oscar de la Renta-designed restaurant, Bamboo. The unique menu blends modern cuisine with Mediterranean influences and a variety of innovative fusion dishes. The buffet breakfast -- with gourmet coffees and teas -- is superb, but even the ordinary concoctions, like a prosciutto sandwich for lunch, uses only top-quality ingredients.