Hey everyone! So I went on holidays to Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic a few months ago. During the trip, I was posting pictures on Instagram and on Instastories about it and since coming back some girls have messaged me and asked about the hotel we stayed at and the place itself, one of them even booked it after I recommended it to her so I thought I would share my opinions with you.
First of all my boyfriend and I (now fiancé) decided to go to Punta Cana since we live in Scotland and it can get really cold, gloomy and rainy (what’s new? haha) so we are constantly looking for new beach destinations to go to. The boyfriend is seriously the best when it comes to finding deals online for flights and hotels so he found a really good package with TUI for 2 weeks in the Dominican Republic with flights and staying in an all-inclusive hotel so after looking at other places and reading reviews about it we fell in love and decided to book it. This holiday was special as we decided it was going to be sort of like our big birthday present for both of us as our birthdays are 9 days apart and we were going to be celebrating our 2 year anniversary as well.
The dates we decided to go for was from the 26th of October to the 9th of November leaving from Manchester airport. The hotel we stayed at is called Hotel Riu Republica so we knew it was going to be really good as it’s one of the newest hotels in Punta Cana and Riu hotels are always really good quality.
Let’s talk about getting to Punta Cana airport first.. when arriving at the airport all tourists need to pay a sort of a tax/visa when entering the country and its $10 dollars per person. This was a bit stressful as we thought we were going to be able to pay by card getting there but they only accept cash and the airport staff and queues were a bit unorganised so we had to basically leave customs and go to an outside area where you can collect your luggage and where they have a money exchange area and use our card to take money out and exchange it to either Dominican pesos or dollars. The people at the airport was very nice but they don’t speak that much English which I thought it was weird but since I speak Spanish they were really helpful to us and helped us. Be aware that you will need cash to when leaving the country as the tax you have to pay then its $20 per person. After this, we went to pick our luggage and out of the airport to get to our coach that would take us to the hotel. If you don’t have transportation there’s always taxis out but I wouldn’t be able to say how much they would be so I would advise you to get transportation before arriving. The trip to the hotel wasn’t bad at all, I would say it was like between 20 to 30 minutes.
Once we arrived at the Hotel we got some cocktails on arrival and did the check-in which was fairly fast and we were sent to our room.
Room: I thought the rooms were really nice, we have seen pictures of it and we thought it was going to have a blue theme going on but it was like sandy and brown tones but it was still so nice. You get a decent size closet area, the bathroom is very modern and the finishes are so nice and you get 2 area so its perfect when you are sharing the bathroom with your boyfriend or whoever as you can each have your own side. The bed is hugeeee and soo comfy, you also get a sofa and a small table so there’s plenty of space to leave your things.
All of the rooms have a terrace regardless of what sort of room you book and they come with 2 chairs so you can sit there and watch the sunset which is really one.
A really cool feature is that all rooms come with 4 full bottles of alcohol and you get minibars with beers and drinks to mix with the alcohol so if you want to paaartay you can do it in your room too. The only thing we didn’t like about the room is that the TV channels are sooo bad, there’s barely any channels in English and the ones you get are really old tv shows which is weird considering loads of people from the UK and USA go there for holidays. A good thing is that there’s free wifi everywhere so you can easily watch Netflix or youtube instead of the tv so that was good.
Hotel: As I said before this hotel is one of the newest Riu built in this area so everything was modern and the finishes were really nice as opposed to some of the other hotels we saw. One thing that sold us about this hotel is that it is adults only and that is a thing we love as there are no screaming kids around the pool or anything and you can relax easily. The first day we were there we booked a massage as we wanted to start the holiday fully relaxed so you can do that as well and they also have mani and pedi service if you want that.
The resort is stunning and huge, there are 3 big pools to choose from and 2 of them have bars next to the pool so you can be in there and just swim to the nearest bar and get a cocktail. There are so many bars everywhere where you can get any cocktails, wines and champagne you want 24/7 so that’s amazing. They have 5 big restaurants, one is a big buffet which I would say for the most part the food is quite nice and they have a lot of things to choose from and so many desserts. They have an Asian restaurant and I LOVED the food!! it was soo good, they have the Italian restaurant and this one is amazing tooo the pasta and pizza is delicious and they have this orange icecream that is just to die for. They have another restaurant which is so good and quite fancy, we were only able to have dinner there once cause the other nights it was fully booked as its the smallest one. All in all the food is so good and the service is nice as well. They have a sports bar that’s open 24/7 and they have fruit, nachos, hotdogs, burgers and doughnuts as well as drinks and of course the food is not as nice as the other places but it’s not bad either. They have a small shop there with souvenir and clothes and things like that and they also have food but of course, it’s so overpriced, we had to go there for snacks sometimes as it was the only place that had crisps and sweeties and things like that.
Every night they have some sort of show going on and they are really fun and they change depending on the week, every Sunday they have a beach party where they have a group of people dancing and making everyone dance so it gets really fun as well, sometimes the music they played was not the most up to date songs but it was nice anyway. They also do once a week a foam party in the afternoon. They also bring out real pineapples and you can have your cocktail there, it’s so instagrammable and fun! The resort has an actual nightclub inside it which is supposed to be good but we never went to it we preferred hanging out by the bars and having cocktails there.
One thing we didn’t like was that there’s no room service and sometimes we were really tired after the tours or spending all day in the sun but we had to go to the restaurants for food. this may not be a big deal to some people, maybe we were just quite lazy hahah.
Beach: the resort is in front of the beach so that’s amazing as you are able to go to the beach for a while and later on hang out by the pool. One thing to say is that the wifi doesn’t work on the beach and sometimes it takes a while for the people to bring your drinks so just be aware of that. The beach is basically a private beach for the people staying at the resort so that’s so good.
Weather: I would say out of the 14 days we were there 8 of them were amazing and the rest some of them were a bit cloudy and some were actually rainy all day so just be aware of that when booking around that time of year. It’s just what happens when you go somewhere that’s tropical but it’s still nice regardless as its roasting even when it’s raining so that wasn’t too bad.
What to do/tours: if you book it like we did, the TUI staff is there for you so they explain to you all the tours and things you can do whilst staying there. We decided to book 2 tours on the first week and we were so lucky as both days were sunny and amazing. The first one we did is called Xtreme buggies which we decided to do mainly for the boyfriend as you are driving the whole time in a buggy and you visit amazing places and end up at Macao Beach. Even though you can get quite dirty I had an amazing time and the places we saw were incredible, I liked that we get to see how people in the Dominican Republic live and learn some things about the country through taking to local people. This tour is so much fun but and I would recommend you use something you don’t care about cause you might get all dirty and dusty.
The second tour we did was called Caribbean cruising, this was the one I really wanted to do as they take you on a boat and you do some snorkelling. We then went to another place where we were able to go and swim for a while, the water was like a pool and the people from the tour gave us drinks so we were basically drinking rum in the Caribbean sea. After that, you go to Saona Island. this place is seriously paradise, the water is so clear and so blue. This island is really popular as its a nature reserve meaning you cant stay there, there are no hotels and you can only visit it if you go on a tour. The day we went we were the only group there so we basically had the whole entire island for us. This place has been the set for the Bounty Chocolate bar advert and the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. We had loads of yummy food cooked for us like lobster and chicken, we had cocktails, shots and we had lunch with 2 other couples who were really nice so we enjoyed ourselves so much. Once the time is finished there we go back on a catamaran which was so fun as there’s music playing, drinks being poured and everyone is dancing so its so much fun. I loved this day and I wish every Friday was like that.
Overall I would totally recommend this hotel and this destination if you are looking for places to go on holiday, the people are so welcoming and kind-hearted and the country is incredible, I really want to go back and explore some other areas we were not able to.
We got engaged on this holiday so Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic will be forever a special place to us. I hope you enjoyed this post and you should definitely visit this country if you can! Talk soon..
– P xx