Do something special with your tax return this year, make memories that you and your family will never forget. For as little as $50 per person down, you can book your family’s all-inclusive summer vacation now and lock in some of the lowest rates of the year with no need to pay until 45 days before you leave. Many of our All-Inclusive Charter Packages to the top beach destinations include non-stop flights, free checked luggage, transfers to and from the airport, all taxes, unlimited food and drink, and even gratuity. Book now, pay later! Be sure to check out our most popular hotels such as: Riu, Iberostar, Dreams, Now, Secrets, and Bahia, for the best deals possible. Click HERE for a list of our Charter Cities, then call and talk to a travel professional and ask for our special rates only available by booking over the phone or click HERE to request an agent to call you back. Follow us on Facebook for daily deals.
AMResorts opened Secrets Puerto Los Cabos, it’s 31st resort, in November with much fanfare and accolade. Located in the exclusive Puerto Los Cabos area, where the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains meet the ocean, and only 15 minutes from San Jose del Cabo, Secrets Puerto Los Cabos has 500 spacious suites, all with stunning views AND a Jacuzzi for two on their private balconies or terraces. Added amenities will be available in the 150 Preferred Club level designated suites, including a private lounge, complimentary in-room internet access, pillow menu, upgraded mini bar service, and more. A highlight of the Secrets Puerto Los Cabos is the 12,000 square-foot signature Secrets Spa by Pevonia offering 22 treatment rooms, a selection of specialty treatments and hydrotherapy circuit, and the perfect atmosphere for those seeking relaxation. A fitness center facility and full service beauty salon also are available. Dining offerings include five á la carte gourmet restaurants, a buffet venue, a grill and a café. As always, reservations are never required. Top-shelf spirits are also included in this Unlimited-Luxury® experience. With AMResort’s Sip, Savor, & See program, you can also enjoy drinks, dinner, and live entertainment and the neighboring Secrets Marquis Los Cabos and the Dreams Los Cabos suites and Golf Resort from 6 p.m. To 1 a.m.
Samana is considered one of the most beautiful areas of the Dominican Republic, yet remains one of the least known gems of the Caribbean. Its tourist industry has not yet exploited the full potential of its location: the tropical forests, coconut groves, hundreds of cozy alcove beaches with turquoise crystal clear waters, waterfalls, protected national parks, a protected bay, a peninsula.
Located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the northeastern part of the Dominican Republic, Samana is known for its mountains, of which it is almost entirely formed. It is the breeding place of the humpback whale, where thousands come to the coast from January to March. With the November 2006 opening of the new Samana El Catey International Airport, with non-stop Apple charter flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays from JFK, it is sure to blossom into one of the top Caribbean vacation destinations.
Whether you prefer the views of the Atlantic Ocean on the northern shores at the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, or the protected bay shores of the southern beaches at the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, or the exclusivity of a private island at the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Don Pablo, Samana is certainly worth adding to your vacation bucket list. Call your Dream Vacation Specialist today for more information.
During my recent visit to Punta Cana, I had the pleasure of staying 3 nights at the Dreams Punta Cana. This hotel is located at the northern end of the Punta Cana region, technically in Playa Uvero Alto. It took nearly an hour down narrow curvy back roads for the transfer from the airport. For some, I can see how passing a donkey on a narrow two lane road might cause some anxiety, but for me, it was an enjoyable ride through the native country with an opportunity to see a side of Punta Cana away from the glamorous resorts. This opportunity will be short-lived, though, because the modern four lane highway will be completed by Christmas, cutting the transfer time in half.
I was familiar with the resort prior to arriving and had read the many mixed reviews, so my expectations were divided. Upon arriving, all of my concerns were alleviated when we were greeted with the first of many huge warm smiles and a cool fragrant towel and a welcome drink. The lobby, a large open-air palapa roof with a nice size bar, is the highest point in the resort. We arrived around dinner time and check in was a breeze. The language barrier that so many have commented on was non-existent at this resort, too.
After check in, I left my luggage with the bellhop and had a quick stroll through he resort to see what it had to offer. The resort was built in 2004 as a Sunscape and converted to a Dreams around 2008. The Explorers Teens Club looked like a blast! They offered pool tables, fuzzball, a giant rock climbing wall, a euro-trampoline, archery, pellet guns, and even batting cages. By the time I got to my room, my luggage was waiting for me. That level of efficient service was to be the standard throughout my stay.
I stayed on the third floor in a Preferred Club Junior Suite and it was one of the largest junior suites I have seen. The room was off-white with white tile floors and two aqua colored couches. There was a tube style television in the living area and a flat screen television on the wall of the bedroom thoughtfully located where you could view it from the large Jacuzzi outside on the balcony. White pillars cornered the entrance into the double-sink bathroom. The toilet and shower were located in a doored bath area to the left of the sink and a walk-in closet was to the right. The only minor issue I had with the facility was slightly inconsistent water pressure and temperature in the shower. That very well could have been a result from being on the third floor and the view more than made up for it. I did have a chance to see a standard Deluxe room. They were very small but appointed similarly to the Junior Suites. If you are at all claustrophobic, I would certainly recommend upgrading to the huge Junior Suites.
I was impressed with some of the little considerations that Dreams offered. I had heard complaints of a musty smell in the rooms in Punta Cana hotels. Although there was no hint of foul odor in my room, there was an incense burner on the sink. I was also pleasantly surprised to find an 8 oz bottle of sunscreen, which I have seen in the gift shops at other resorts selling for over $20. The bath products were of very good quality, too. The heavy robe provided was comfortable and the slippers were welcome on the cold tile in the morning.
We had a private dinner the first night on the patio at El Patio. The cool breeze coming off of the ocean was very calming and added to a wonderful ambiance of the music playing softly in the background. The food was on par with any all-inclusive dinner I’ve had. I was not impressed with the beef products, but that had nothing to do with the quality of the restaurant. Beef grown in the Dominican Republic is not treated with growth hormones or steroids, so it doesn’t suite the taste buds of most U.S. travelers. The breakfast buffet was acceptable, but I wouldn’t list it as a strength of the resort. The mangoes were absolutely amazing, though. Because we were in the Preferred Club, we were able to eat a la carte breakfast at Oceana, which I recommend. My favorite meal during my stay was dinner at Mimitsu. Don’t stay at Dreams Punta Cana without eating there. Everything was amazing. I’m not a huge fan of seafood, but the grouper the best I have ever had! Even the beef was outstanding at Mimitsu. It is at the top of my list of any restaurant I’ve eaten at while on vacation outside the country.
The coffee bar is located under the grand stairway coming from the lobby to the lower level where the buffet, theater, casino, and nightclub are located. Not only was the coffee wonderful and the wait short, the barista remembered me after the first morning and had my Americana and whole mango sitting out before I even made it to the counter. This utmost level of personal service was what made my trip so special. Waiters would smile and talk to you like they have know you forever. There were a few times when I felt bad because I thought surely I must have met them before and just not remembered. Everyone was just so friendly and is was quite apparent they enjoyed their jobs and appreciated the guests being there.
Being adults at a family resort, I was pleased with the layout of the pool. The pool snaked throughout the beautiful tropical grounds, meaning regardless of where your room is located you will have effortless access and you can easily find a nook away from the splashing kids or the occasional unruly inebriated adults.
The beach was a wide stretch of sugary white sand and perfect for those who like to take long walks. It went on for as far as the eye could see in both directions. One of the things that stuck out to me was the lack of beach peddlers that Punta Cana is so known for. During my entire stay, I never saw a single one. I will gladly barter the longer transfer for a beautiful peaceful beach. There was a lot of seaweed once you entered the water. I spoke to the manager and he said this is one of the worst seaweed seasons in decades due to the warmer winter currents last year. They did have a grounds crew dedicated to keeping the beach free of wash-up during normal hours, though.
The resort was almost at full occupancy for the duration of our stay. Other than the pool bar, which seemed understaffed for the traffic, the wait for a drink was very minimal. The drinks all tasted as they should and the bartenders had no problem making them as strong as you wanted upon request. The bar in the Preferred Club lounge offered a very impressive selection of top shelf drinks. For those of you who prefer American beer, they have it available upon request, but you have to know to ask for it because it’s not displayed anywhere. I was especially impressed with the disco, Desires. The atmosphere was the best of any all-inclusive I have been to, most likely due to the isolated location of the resort. I went all three nights and it always had a good crowd but never seemed too packed. The DJ was great and played a nice mix of retro and current hits, always keeping the dance floor hopping.
The resort itself is nice, but what made the experience memorable was the staff. Would I recommend the Dreams Punta Cana to my friends and family? Absolutely! Would I ever return? You betcha! I can’t wait to.
On October 26th, Rihanna will entertain over 13,000 fans at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. The recipient of six Grammy Awards® and seven Billboard Music Awards, Rihanna has sold more than 41 million albums and 150 million digital tracks worldwide, and currently holds the record as the top-selling digital artist of all time. Forbes named Rihanna the world’s No. 1 social media star with more than 3.8 billion views on YouTube/VEVO, the most ever for any female artist, more than 74 million Facebook fans and over 30 million Twitter followers. In addition to her 12 Hot 100 No. 1 singles and overall 24 Top 10 singles, Rihanna also has 18 No. 1 singles on the Billboard Dance Club Song Charts.
“We’re beyond excited to welcome Rihanna to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana,” said Chief Operating Officer, Rafael Chapur. “As leaders in the hospitality industry, we take great pride in hosting some of music’s leading talent at the world’s first all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels.”
Tickets are on sale now with prices ranging from General Admission $70, Diamond $100, Platinum $150 and Special Guest $500. Guests staying five nights or more are guaranteed two tickets for purchase to see the highly anticipated live performance. Tickets are not included in the hotel stay and must be purchased through link or at the ticket counter on property.
Keeping with the all-day, all-night, all-included way of life, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana combines unparalleled offerings with rockin’ style to make for the most lavish Dominican Republic vacation. In addition to the A-List performance, guests are invited to experience luxe nightlife amenities including entertaining shows, specialty cocktails, signature lounges, themed parties and a larger-than-life Vegas-style casino, featuring the acclaimed ORO nightclub and Simon Mansion & Supper Club by Chef Kerry Simon.
The 1,787 room Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana is situated on pristine sugar white sands stretching 121-acres along Macao Beach in the Dominican Republic. Hard Rock’s first all-inclusive hotel and casino exudes five-star all inclusive amenities and personal services to create the ultimate getaway featuring an endless array of enticing outdoor activities and exhilarating entertainment options. Among the resort’s many offerings are luxe accommodations featuring the Hard Rock’s branded “Rock Star Suite,” the signature Rock Spa®, 18-hole Nicklaus designed golf course, exclusive Colin Cowie wedding and honeymoon collections, Little Big Club™ kids center, and iconic music memorabilia. Guests also enjoy 15 expansive pools, four swim-up bars, a kids pool and lazy river. A variety of gourmet dining options are available through the resort’s ten restaurants, including Brazilian steakhouse Impanema, Zen Asian Teppanyaki, Pizzeto brick-oven pizza and more. The property also features more than 65,000 square-feet of flexible event and meeting space.
The Riu Palace Peninsula is one of the newest hotels in Cancun. Located on the northern stretch of the Hotel Zone, this towering resort is the most visible structure from air, land, and sea. Upon entering the expansive modern lobby dressed in purple and gold, I wondered if I had stepped into a Prince video. I was greeted with a warm inviting smile by Alex, the bellman. He took my luggage and set it to the side to be delivered to my room. Check-in was a breeze, even though it was 2:00, which is normally a busy time of day. I received a silver VIP bracelet indicating I was staying in the Villa Section.
A short walk down the hall and through the open-air theater led us to a path with a sign reading “VIP, Adults Only Villas”. The small 3-story white Villas contrasted the giant modern structure that towered over them. They had a peaceful feel that seemed almost removed from the flurry of activity in the lobby. My request for a upper level room was honored and I made my way up the three flights of stairs. There are no elevators in the Villas, so if you have difficulty with stairs be sure to request a lower level room. One observation was that the marble stairs can get quite slick when wet or if you have sand on your feet.
My room was what they consider a Villa Garden View Junior Suite. The interior of the room is identical to the standard Junior Suites in the main building. The vibrant theme of white and purple is carried over from the lobby. The bed, which in the past was a common complaint of the Riu’s, was very comfortable. Just off the bed was a large Jacuzzi tub, which is standard in every room as well as a large Jacuzzi on the balcony that can easily fit up to 4 adults. On the other side was an inexpensive looking love seat that appeared to be constructed of plywood. It served the purpose, though, and was actually rather comfortable. There was a dining table and two chairs across form the loveseat which came in handy for those late night room service calls. The flat screen television appeared to be about 32” and the Jacuzzi Suite rooms have a 40” that rotates between the bed and the living room. The bathroom consisted of two sinks and a purple-hued glass block wall separating the large shower which had a removable shower head and an alternate rainforest shower head. There was also a separate toilet area with a privacy door. The refrigerator was stocked with beer, soda, water, and snack bars. I prefer my beverages very cold and it did not suite my taste, so I pulled the fridge out and turned the dial, which was set on 50%, to 100%. That setting resolved any concerns and actually froze some of the sodas on the top shelf. On the wall above the fridge and coffee pot was a liquor dispenser with a fifth of four common liquors: Jose Cuervo, Smirnoff, Bacardi, and Presedente Brandy. The Jacuzzi Suites are about 30% larger, most of that space being a living room area.
One of the most common guest objections with Riu’s is the difficulty making reservations for the gourmet restaurants. This objection was validated when I was unable to make reservations for the Steak House or the Japanese restaurants for any of the three nights of my stay. Fortunately for me, staying in the Villas allowed access to the exclusive gourmet Caribbean restaurant, Kulinarium. The 5-course menu there was limited in choices but certainly not in taste! I had the filet and it was phenomenal. Although there was availability there each night, I chose to dine at the buffet the other two nights. I understand that being unable to eat at the restaurants of your choice at an all-inclusive that advertises fine dining can be frustrating, but the Riu Palace Peninsula more than makes up for that deficiency with some of the best buffet food I’ve eaten, including lamb and Caribbean lobster. For lunch, the Italian restaurant does not require reservations and has a nice a la carte menu as well as a wonderful Italian buffet. The 24 hour room service menu was also limited and took about an hour to be delivered, but the freshness and quality was on par.
Without a doubt, one of the best features of the Villas is the private pool. The ambiance there just could not be matched at the other main pools. The long private infinity pool was the perfect place to relax and enjoy the views of the gorgeous turquoise Caribbean waters merely steps away. It was never a problem getting a pool chair or even a bally bed and the towel cards that most all-inclusives are known for were not necessary in the Villa Section. And the pool waiter, Fernando, would never let me get to the bottom of my drink. Although the private Villa pool is top-optional, I did not notice anyone sans top throughout my stay.
All in all, the Riu Palace Peninsula exceeded my expectations in most every category. I was disappointed that I could not make reservations at the restaurants I desired, but that actually made very little difference to the overall quality of my experience. I enjoyed my stay and look forward to my next opportunity to return.