Best Adult-Only Resorts in Punta Cana

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Punta Cana is commonly -- and justifiably -- said to have the finest beaches in the Caribbean. Located on the Dominican Republic's easternmost tip, the area is also characterized by near-perfect weather, as well as dozens of all-inclusive mega-resorts ranging from cheap to chic. We visited the top hotels to see which were the best of the best. Check out our picks for the best adult-only resorts in Punta Cana.

  1. An adult-only resort as of December 2015, this 174-room romantic, luxury all-inclusive looks like a Spanish castle town. Perched on a cliff by the ocean in the still developing Cap Cana complex, the Sanctuary is near the airport but a bit far from the main resort area. Its beautifully decorated pools, spa, and restaurants are all among the D.R.'s best.

  2. When most working adults hear the words "tropical paradise," they're picturing something like the Sivory, a small, quiet, remote escape that's on the other end of the spectrum from a party-hearty mega-resort. One of the few boutique hotels in Punta Cana, the 55-room resort lures couples to its secluded location -- about a (bumpy) 60-minute ride from the airport. Service is impressive, as is the natural setting, and the beach is free of hawkers and tourists. Large, beach-chic rooms have some of the best bathrooms in the D.R., but are showing minor wear. 

  3. Opened in November 2013, the Breathless is one of the newest, most luxurious all-inclusive options in Punta Cana. The 750-suite adult-only property is massive, so guests rarely feel overwhelmed by crowds, whether they are in one of the restaurants, at one of the pools, or relaxing on the gorgeous white-sand beach. Rates include everything from the food and alcohol to the water sports and themed pool parties, but some guests complain that the food and service at the restaurants lag. 

  4. The adult-only Secrets caters to honeymooners and couples, but of the more party-hearty variety: The resort offers numerous on-site bars as well as nightly entertainment. However, tranquility (and romance) can certainly be found in the kid-free restaurants, lazy river, and intimate spa, and all rooms feature balconies or terraces with large whirlpool tubs. Room decor is similar to, but a step above, that at the Now: Floral throws, bright furniture, accent walls, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and large marble bathrooms all come together to make comfortable, if not particularly luxurious, accommodations. The resort lacks a golf course, but overall its a solid choice for couples looking to let loose -- and still enjoy a bit of romance.

  5. CHIC is a 323-room all-inclusive that attracts twenty- and thirtysomething couples looking to have a good time. Families with adult children are certainly welcome, but may feel out of place amongst honeymooners and anniversary celebrants. With its contemporary decor, ultra-modern rooms, varied on-site dining options, and happening vibe, this upscale hotel (opened in December of 2014) is quickly becoming one of Punta Cana’s most sought-after spots. The beautiful pool and beach facilities, on-site spa, and free Wi-Fi throughout also make CHIC an attractive option. Guests who upgrade to the Diamond Club will be treated to premium drinks and exclusive beach and pool access — but otherwise it’s not worth the extra nightly cost. Though this is by no means a spring break type of place, loud music and lively poolside activities are part of the scene here.

  6. Out of the four Princess properties in Punta Cana, this 263-room all-inclusive is the pricier, adult-only option. It is a bit more upscale than the other three, though honeymooners should go for one of the seven Honeymoon Suites for more romantic amenities. Sometimes the resort can feel like an adult party, especially considering the afternoon pool scene, lobby entertainment, and 24-hour beach bar. Those looking for a quieter experience can hit the beach, snag a day bed and have drinks delivered from a server -- though vendors can sometimes be a nuisance. There are five restaurants on-site, including a romantic beachside Mediterranean option, and guests also get access to nightlife at the other resorts, which ensures plenty of variety.

  7. This upscale all-inclusive is a 45-minute drive from the airport and has a spacious beach with rougher waves than at Bavaro Beach down the road. Swimming can be a challenge, but this surfer's paradise has a more secluded feel, even with 464 rooms on the property. The meandering pool is never too crowded, and at night, adults -- mostly honeymooners, couples, and wedding groups -- can choose from a number of high-end restaurants before hitting the theater or lively casino. Room service is offered 24 hours, and chlorophyll juice and apples are offered in the the stand-out fitness center, yoga room, or luxurious two-floor spa. Excellence knows how to give excellent service, starting with the welcome glass of champagne immediately upon arrival. A more expensive club upgrade is available and may be pitched, but many will find they don't need it with all that is already on offer.

  8. This 274-room all-inclusive resort with photogenic Greco-Roman design is part of the Iberostar brand's Grand Collection, and is the most luxurious of four Iberostar options in Punta Cana. Prices are understandably higher, though they're not that much higher than at sister property Bavaro Suites. There's a ton of space for relaxing, especially at one of three pools and an extra wide stretch of beach. The four room types are equipped with spacious balconies, enclosed foyers with large closets, and a hidden delivery area for 24-hour room service. Butlers are available at no extra cost, though they might only prove valuable for restaurant reservations, which are notoriously difficult.

  9. The adult-only Bavaro Beach is the smaller resort in the Barcelo Bavaro complex, and offers the tranquil vibe of a smaller property, but the extensive features of a mega-resort, including a spa, fitness center, golf course, and numerous pools. However, most of these amenities are about a five-minute shuttle ride away at the Palace Deluxe resort. This romantic, upscale spot in Punta Cana is located on one of the best beaches in the area, and features four on-site restaurants, two bars, and rooms with modern technology and beachy decor.

  10. With 372 rooms, Royal Turquesa is the more expensive, adult-only section of the massive all-inclusive Palladium complex, and has a more peaceful setting than its three neighbors. Notable aspects here include the swim-up suites and a prime stretch of private beach dotted with lounge chairs, hammocks, and daybeds. The main pool is smack in the center of the resort and has built-in lounge chairs and a swim-up bar. Rooms options come in seven spacious types, all with canopy beds, stocked minibars (soda, water, beer, and liquor), DVD players, sofa beds, and jetted tubs. There is premium liquor at the bars, and two restaurants (including a romantic French option) are exclusive to this in this section only; guests can also access the wide selection of bars, restaurants, and activities at the three sister properties, though they're a long walk or crowded shuttle ride away.

  11. The sole adult-only hotel on the five-resort Riu complex, the Macao has a generally upscale vibe that’s significantly more tranquil than its sister properties. There’s still the requisite poolside entertainment and loud music by the gorgeous, white-sand beach, but couple-friendly amenities (which the other properties lack) include name-brand liquor and a designated VIP section on the beach. While this all-inclusive features sleek rooms and fun nightly entertainment, many guests complain about the mediocre food and the long walk to the gym and spa.

  12. Marketed as its own property, The Level Melia Caribe Tropical is actually the exclusive enclave of the massive, upscale Melia Caribe Tropical resort. With adult-only and family-friendly sections, The Level has broad appeal, and guests get perks such as private check-in, large rooms, and exclusive pool, beach, and restaurant access. But it's worth noting that The Level is situated in the forested swaths of a massive, overwhelming property where rooms are far from amenities and don’t have ocean views.

  13. This upper-middle-range resort is one of the original sections of an ever-growing resort complex that feels sort of like Dominican Republic’s version of Las Vegas. Make sure your driver knows the exact hotel name -- there are five hotels total -- otherwise you may end up confused at the wrong lobby. Spacious but basic rooms are close to a nice beach, pool, four restaurants, and four bars. The resort is clean but not quite as upscale as advertised; young honeymooners seeking a chic retreat may want to look elsewhere.

  14. This all-inclusive beachfront resort is one of the smaller and quieter options in Punta Cana, with just 255 rooms. It offers impressive food variety given its size, with two a la carte restaurants on-site and more options next door at larger, family-friendly Catalonia Bavaro Beach (for Royal guests, no reservations are required). Other features include a spa, gym, two pools, a small private beach a five-minute walk from the property (where beachside massages are offered), and a putting green. Neighboring sister property Catalonia Bavaro Beach has entertainment and additional amenities. Just be aware that this is an upper-middle-range resort -- not a luxury one -- so expect some visible wear. 

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