The Dominican Republic shares the Island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west and is well known for its pristine beaches, beautiful golf courses, verdant rainforest, and scenic highlands, including Pico Duarte – the Caribbean’s tallest mountain. But what the Dominican Republic is most famous for is its diverse variety of luxury All-Inclusive resorts offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, an energetic event programme, and activities and watersports for the ideal summer holiday in the Caribbean.
The highlight of visiting the Dominican Republic is exploring Zona Colonial of Santo Domingo, the capital and one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city is full of culture and history with cobblestone streets, ancient landmarks, pretty churches and historic museums – there are photo opportunities around every corner! Visit the central park with a statue of Columbus just outside the First Cathedral of the Americas, enjoy a great view of the Ozama River just outside the Alcázar de Colón, and explore the former house of Christopher Columbus’ eldest son, Diego. We recommend stopping at the Colonial Gate 4D Cinema for a short film about the history of Santo Domingo and having lunch at Travesias Restaurant to sample the local cuisine: a unique blend of Taino, Spanish and African. Don’t pass up the chance to experience the Dominican folk music band, Grupo Bonye! The local band plays a free open-air concert in front of the ruins of San Francisco Monastery on Sundays from 6 – 10pm.
FAST TRAVEL FACTS
- Currency: Dominican Peso
– Flight from the UK: 9 hours, 15 minutes
– Time difference: GMT-5
– Visa: No. Tourist card required
– Language: Spanish
– National drink: Mamajuana
– National food: Sancocho
WHERE TO STAY
1. Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Opened in November 2013, Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa is one of the newest All-Inclusive options in Punta Cana. With 750 suites, this five star adults-only resort and spa is perfect for sociable couples, singles, groups, and honeymooners. It’s particularly popular with those seeking a lively atmosphere, especially in the evenings. You’ll be impressed by the endless daytime activities and evening entertainers, vibrant colours, dancers, music, DJ’s, and theme parties at the resort. The rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated with modern amenities. You can choose from seven à la carte restaurants, two buffets, a café, and a grill on the beach – while new 24-hour dining options allow guests to savour late night Mediterranean bites at Kibbeh. Enjoy big screen movies on the beach, weekly foam parties, Spanish classes, and dance classes during your stay. Upgrade to xhale club and enjoy additional facilities and services, such as two exclusive club pools, club lounge access, a private member restaurant, and personalised check in. Browse our holiday offers.
2. Excellence Punta Cana
Excellence Punta Cana is the ideal getaway for couples seeking a romantic honeymoon or a luxury holiday with one of the most beautiful beachfront locations on Playa Uvero Alto. There are 12 suite categories to choose from offering spacious interiors and private balconies, including swim-up suites and honeymoon suites. Dining is as relaxed or romantic as you choose with nine international restaurants, including the Lobster House where you can treat yourself to a fresh-from-the-ocean lobster dinner. Enjoy the benefit of unlimited alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, 24 hour room service, pool and beach waiter service, and plenty of daily and nightly entertainment, from Spanish dancing to cooking classes. Browse our holiday offers.
3. Paradisus Palma Real
Set on beautiful Bavaro Beach, Paradisus Palma Real has the feel of a boutique hotel and the facilities of a large resort. Surrounded by tropical gardens, trickling fountains, and a golden beach, the five star hotel offers 554 oversized suites, including 198 Royal Service suites and 2 Oceanfront Presidential Suites, an extraordinary range of restaurants from casual to fine dining, a selection of watersports, and unlimited free green fees at Cocotal Golf & Country Club. Enjoy the services of a personal butler, private pool access, and priority restaurant reservations with the resort’s Royal Service. Browse our holiday offers.
4. Zoetry Agua Punta Cana
Zoetry Agua Punta Cana is one of the most luxurious and tranquil All-Inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic. Catering for couples, the hotel boasts an uncrowded white-sand beach, spacious suites, a pristine pool, and one of the top spas in the Dominican Republic. The property also has a walking path, yoga classes, biking tracks, and watersports, from snorkelling to kayaking. Each guest can enjoy a 45 minute horseback riding tour and receive a 20 minute massage at the spa during their stay. Guests also have free access to the spa’s sauna, steam room, whirlpool, sensation shower, and small fitness centre. Browse our holiday offers.
5. Eden Roc at Cap Cana
Eden Roc at Cap Cana is a five star plus hotel in the Cap Cana area of the Dominican Republic. Accommodation is available in suites and villas with private pools, family residences and beachfront suites with ocean views. Treat yourself to a little TLC at The Beach Club with butler service on the private beach offering crisp towels, cold bottled water, smoothies and fruit skewers. Enjoy wine tasting, cooking classes and Spanish lessons during your stay. Browse our holiday offers.
6. Dreams La Romana
Dreams La Romana offers a luxury five star stay in La Romana with one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic. Situated just an hour and a half’s drive from Santo Domingo, it’s a great base from which to explore the fascinating capital city. Guests can look forward to a variety of elegant restaurants, bars and lounges, kids and teen’s clubs, and a new adults-only section in Preferred Club level. The resort also has an inflatable iceberg for kids, beach parties, beach sleepovers, live entertainment, an open air theatre, and watersports that range from windsurfing to snorkelling. Browse our holiday offers.
7. Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana is an adults-only resort with a spectacular oceanfront location tucked away within the tropical gardens of Playa Bavara. Guests can enjoy elegant services, including a variety of restaurants and bars, clay tennis courts and a luxury spa with a Swedish sauna. Spend your days relaxing in the lazy river style swimming pool or outdoor whirlpool, enjoying a laidback game at the bowling alley, or relaxing with a film under the stars at the beach cinema. Guests can also use the next door facilities at Now Larimar and Now Garden. Browse our holiday offers.
8. Hard Rock Punta Cana Hotel and Casino
The five star experience at Hard Rock Punta Cana Hotel and Casino is hard to beat. With loads of entertainment, great music, diverse dining options, a nightclub, shopping opportunities, and a casino with nearly 400 slot machines, this hotel really has it all. Other fantastic facilities at the hotel include an on-site golf course, a large kids club, an amphitheatre, a games arcade, 15 bars, and 14 restaurants. Spend your afternoons relaxing on the white sand beach or keep busy with the countless activities and amenities on-site. Browse our holiday offers.
9. Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe is located on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic. This fantastic All-Inclusive complex offers something for everyone and consists of two sections, one for adults and one for families. There are eleven dining options to choose from, offering everything from Mexican to Japanese, as well as a nightclub, casino, and live shows. Other facilities include a kids club, shopping centre, and a beautiful beach and coral reef. Browse our holiday offers.
10. Now Larimar Punta Cana
Perfect for multigenerational travel, Now Larimar in Punta Cana is split into two sections: Now Larimar Punta Cana and Now Garden Punta Cana situated along the stunning coastline of the Dominican Republic. Enjoy the brand’s signature Unlimited-Luxury concept where everything is included. Guests can look forward to 24 hour room service, daily refreshed minibars, pool and beach waiter service, and plenty of activities for both adults and families, including movies on the beach and live theatre shows. Browse our holiday offers.
Want to visit the Dominican Republic? View our hotels online or chat to an expert who has been there on 020 784 94252.
Maria Sabolova is a Caribbean travel expert who has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean. For expert tips on Caribbean travel, chat to her on 020 784 94044.