Sunscape Puerto Plata Dominican Republic is an all-inclusive, three-and-a-half-pearl property located on scenic Playa Dorada beach. The resort’s 585 guest rooms are well-kept and sunny, featuring flat-screen TVs, minibars, coffeemakers, and large bathrooms with walk-in rainfall showers, but none have ocean views. Sunscape is a solid choice for fans of all-inclusive resorts, offering a nice balance of amenities geared toward families, groups, and couples, as well as an array of decent dining options; although the fee for in-room Wi-Fi will be a turn-off for some. Travelers looking for an adult-only resort in the area can consider BlueBay Villas Doradas.
Modern facilities, quality dining, and ample activities for a mix of travelers
Guests arriving at Sunscape walk into an airy lobby with whitewashed ceilings and gleaming marble floors. With its smart, clean, and contemporary aesthetic, the lobby accurately reflects the tidy, welcoming facilities guests can expect to find throughout the rest of the property.
In a lot of ways, Sunscape doesn’t stray too far from the standard all-inclusive experience with its large pools, lively activities schedule, and themed restaurants; however, it also manages to side-step some irritating resort stereotypes by not requiring guests to wear wristbands or make advanced reservations at the a la carte restaurants.
If there are any faults to be found with Sunscape, it would be the fee for in-room Wi-Fi, which can come as an unpleasant surprise for guests accustomed to constant, free connectivity. The property is also set slightly back from the coast, which means you’ll need to walk down to the beach for ocean views (but it’s only a few minutes’ walk away from any point on the property).
The property attracts guests as varied as its offerings, from families to couples to friends traveling in groups.
Convenient location in the gated Playa Dorada resort complex
Sunscape is set on the beachfront in the Playa Dorada complex, a tourist-oriented neighborhood that’s home to about a dozen other resorts. It’s less than a 10-minute walk to Playa Dorada Shopping Center, where's there a bank, a cinema, and a few restaurants and bars. Playa Dorada Golf Course is also less than 10 minutes away by foot. The area is safe and walkable, but it lacks local flavor. Puerto Plata is a 15-minute drive away and it’s roughly 40 minutes by car to Caberte, which is known for its excellent surfing. Gregorio Luperon International Airport can be reached in about a 20-minute drive.
Bright, contemporary guest rooms have private balconies or terraces
Guest rooms at Sunscape are simple and cheerful, decorated in color palettes of beige and white with flourishes of orange or blue fabric. A king or two double beds are backed by oversize, padded headboards. All rooms include flat-screen TVs and small seating areas with tables and chairs. Units also have coffeemakers as well as minibars stocked with beer, soda, juice, and bottled water. Wi-Fi is available for a fee.
Sliding glass doors lead out to balconies or terraces furnished with plastic chairs and square tables. Views are of the lush grounds or the pool -- the guest room buildings are set back from the coast, so there aren’t really any rooms with ocean views. Large bathrooms have basin sinks, and walk-in rainfall showers with frosted glass doors. Hairdryers and hotel-branded bath products are provided.
Suites add separate living areas with blue-and-white rattan furniture, plus large dining tables. Sun Club rooms come with a variety of extra perks like free Wi-Fi, room service, and comfy bathrobes. Guests also have a private check-in at one of two lounges -- one family-friendly and the other adult-only -- each of which includes a snack and bar area as well as a small outdoor pool reserved for Sun Club guests.
Lagoon-style pool, direct beach access, and plenty of entertainment
Sunscape’s extensive roster of on-site features cater to its mixed clientele of couples, friends, and families. The resort’s massive, zero-entry main pool is surrounded by a wave-patterned deck and tightly-packed beige loungers. Palm trees give the pool area a tropical feel, while other trees manicured into neat cap-shapes add distinctiveness. There’s a floating climbing station for older kids, and the pool also includes a two-level swim-up bar with a dry seating area on its upper floor. The smaller quiet pool, which is set next to the busy main pool, includes a kids’ pool and a pretty rock fountain.
Sunscape offers direct access to Playa Dorada beach, a wide stretch of soft golden sands. Activities covered in the resort’s “Unlimited Fun” all-inclusive package include non-motorized water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, and windsurfing. Beach volleyball and water yoga are among the other activities, and there's live entertainment hosted in an open-air theater, which is practical if not particularly stylish.
While fairly nondescript, the fitness center is large, clean, and modern, offering a good range of elliptical machines, stationary bikes, treadmills, and weight lifting equipment. Water and towels are provided for guests. A soft, neutral color palette and generous use of wood give the spa a tranquil, beachy feel. The spa includes a sauna, a steam room, and a beauty salon, with treatment options ranging from facials and massages to manicures and reflexology. The whirlpool room is especially lovely with its stone accent wall and fountain.
The kids’ club is set in a cluster of colorful, thatched-roof huts, and offers programming that includes treasure hunts, movies on the beach, hiking, and storytelling. There’s a separate club for older kids aged 13 to 17 called Core Zone Teens Club, which has beanbag chairs, a pool table, and video games. It also has a bar with non-alcoholic drinks and snacks.
The resort’s two meeting rooms offer a total of 2,044 square feet of meeting space (we weren’t able to photograph them during our visit). A couple of shops set in the resort’s interior hallways sell souvenirs, snacks, and cigars. Free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby and there’s free parking on-site.
Excellent buffet and reservation-free a la carte options
Sunscape’s main buffet restaurant, Windows, is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The expansive dining room features an attractive lime, orange, and gold color scheme, while the buffet spread offers great variety and some live cooking stations.
The resort’s five a la carte restaurants do not require reservations, a perk for guests annoyed by the reservation systems typical at Caribbean resorts. Gaucho Grill offers Argentinian cuisine in a rustic-chic dining room decorated with lots of dark woods and leather, while Da Maria serves Italian fare in an elegant space with bold red walls. Guests who prefer adult-only dining can head to the Asian restaurant, Gohan. Other evening dining options include beachfront dining at Castaways, and open-air The Pizza Shop, which offers casual eats like pizza, tacos, and snacks.
Light afternoon bites are available by the beach at The Barefoot Grill and poolside at Tamarindo. Coco Café offers coffee and snacks throughout the day. Bars are found by the pool, the beach, and in the lobby.
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