The best hotels in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a beautiful Caribbean country with a diverse landscape: rainforests, beaches, mountains, lagoons and salt lakes. Many resorts are located on stunning coastal beaches or boast star views of the mountains. How to choose a hotel, read in today’s review.

Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites Resort & Spa

The huge hotel complex is located near Bavaro Beach. The hotel’s open-air lobby has a terrace with plenty of places to read or relax with your favorite drink. In the evening, guests can spend an evening here or go to other bars, such as The Hemingway. For children, evening entertainment is arranged right in the foyer, and sometimes the animation team gives an evening performance on the theater stage. Party-goers and players can frolic at a beach disco or casino.

The Palladium is a 30-minute taxi ride from Punta Cana International Airport. The Grand Palladium Bavaro is one of four resorts in one complex with almost 2,000 rooms. The spacious grounds look like a city with a long beach, four large pools, numerous restaurants, buffets and bars, a casino, a spa and a sports complex.

It has 674 rooms, including the most popular Junior Suites (124 rooms), Master Junior Suites (309) and Deluxe Junior Suites (108). The rooms are modern, upscale and fresh after the 2014 renovation. The rooms are equipped with a coffee maker, a mini bar with water, lemonade and beer, a flat screen TV, a bathroom with a whirlpool tub and a balcony with furniture.

The romantic suites are located closer to the beach and have an outdoor terrace attached to a huge bathroom. Suites at the water’s edge overlooking the beach with their own terrace and private pool are the most romantic accommodations often offered to newlyweds.

There is free Wi-Fi in the lobby.

The hotel has four large clean pools with bars and a children’s swimming section. The beach is walkable. For children between the ages of 1 and 13, there is a children’s club in the castle style. The spa and spacious fitness center are located in the same building. There are several treatment rooms for pair massages and the usual menu of body and face care procedures. The sports centre has tennis courts, a football field, an archery field, a basketball court and a mini-golf course. Beach volleyball can be played on the beach, as well as free diving equipment, kayaks and windsurfing equipment.

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The Grand Reserve At Paradisus By Melia Palma Real

The luxurious Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real,all inclusive, is located in Punta Cana, about a 15-minute walk from the beach. The magnificent well-groomed area is seated with tall palm trees and has sparkling pools with soft loungers and loungers. All the white buildings are modern and their chic interiors are filled with natural light. The rooms are soft and furnished with modern furniture. Amenities include luxurious bedding, a white marble bathroom and free Wi-Fi.

Inside the room are filled with natural light and stylish, modern decor in soft tones. Natural textures, wood and wicker furniture, polished marble countertops, chic armchairs and lamps.

Spacious stylish suites with one or two bedrooms have their own terrace and whirlpool tub. The rooms are decorated in soft tones and furnished with chic modern furniture. All suites ranging in space from 74 to 167 square metres have a living room with a bar and dining area. The rooms overlook their own terrace with a whirlpool tub, sun loungers and garden furniture. Some suites can be accessed by the pool at the water’s edge. The largest suite has an area of 280 square meters.

The Wet Bar offers drinks, a Nespresso coffee machine, a microwave and a wide range of snacks. The standard amenities include a flat-screen TV, a safe, air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. The spacious white marble bathrooms have large showers and separate bathing tubs. High-quality cosmetics and a hairdryer are available.

Eight restaurants and six bars offer Asian, Latin and Swedish cuisines. Most dining areas have beautiful outdoor outdoor areas. There is a sports bar with pool tables, table football and a variety of televisions broadcasting sporting events.

The pools are surrounded by terraces with soft loungers and canopies for daytime rest, and one of the pools has a bar. Guests can also enjoy a beautiful beach with white sand and turquoise water, where loungers in the shade of palm trees are provided. The beach is about a 15-minute walk from the property.

The spa offers a wide range of treatments using Natura Bisse products and modern technology (oxygen therapy and collagen shock). The large, sun-drenched gym has windows overlooking the garden and plenty of state-of-the-art cardio and strength trainers.

It features a water park with slides and attractions, as well as a children’s club with games, entertainment and a beautiful outdoor area.

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Eden Roc Cap Cana

One of the most luxurious hotels in Punta Cana, Eden Roc opened in 2012. The design is presented on a grand scale – you will see open beams, plush purple sofas, huge metal chandeliers and objects of modern art. The resort is essentially divided into two parts, with a lobby, spa, children’s club and villas located five minutes from the beach. The villas are painted in bright blue, pink, yellow and magenta colors.

The property has flowering bushes and flower beds, shallow decorative pools and romantic baths. There is also an observation deck for romantic dinners. Despite these features, the hotel is suitable for family holidays and holidays with children. Oceanfront Resort Beach Club has a huge central area with a thatched roof, access to the pool and ocean. Pets can be accommodated (for an additional fee).

The hotel has Argentinian, Spanish and Mexican restaurants. A 15-minute drive away is a shopping mall with a grocery store, Asian, Mexican and Dominican cuisines.

The Eden Roc rooms are a mixture of oceanfront suites and individual villas, which are essentially divided into two different complexes. The suites have stunning beach views from balconies with street furniture, glass dining tables with seats for six people. Cedar-decorated dressing rooms are a welcome addition. The luxurious bathrooms in these apartments are equipped with separate bowls and a tropical shower. The standard amenities include a large flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, a mini-bar, a Nespresso coffee maker with free capsules and water. All rooms also have an iron, an ironing board, a cosmetic mirror, a hair dryer, robes, slippers, shoe horns, umbrellas and safes.

The villas are a five-minute drive from the beach and have lattice golf ports with free golf carts, huge private patio and endless pools overlooking the garden or lagoon. The interiors are light – as floor-to-ceiling windows allow a lot of light, and vaulted ceilings make the interior look light and spacious. The look combines classic and modern elements. Marble floors are decorated with rustic tiles with a pattern of vine leaves, and the furniture has heavy antique silhouettes. Surrounded by villas: a beautiful beach, two pools, several bars, favorite restaurants, spas and fancy gyms.

Blue Grill, overlooking the pool and beach, serves Peruvian and Asian fusion cuisine, as well as delicious pizza in a brick oven. There is an ocean seafood restaurant and a golf course. There is free access to thousands of magazines and newspapers, free parking for hotel employees and bicycle hire (for an additional fee). Transfers to and from the airport are also included in the cost of accommodation. The hotel offers fast and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

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Barcelo Bavaro Palace

Located on the beach in the tourist centre of Bavaro, the hotel is a 25-minute drive from Punta Cana International Airport. Barcelo Bavaro Palace has more than 1,400 rooms of different categories, plenty of space, open, aerial design and a well-organized restaurant scene. The resort also offers an upscale spa, swimming pool, disco, pool bar, children’s club and a host of other on-site features.

The resort is part of the Spanish Barcelo chain and attracts numerous travelers. Beach events, volleyball or dancing take place daily by the pool and on the ocean. The beach here is a real highlight and is considered one of the most beautiful in the area.

The rooms are decorated in a strict beach style and are equipped with modern technology. Most rooms have a whirlpool bath and ocean views. Most of the rooms are in the main resort area next to the beach, restaurants and swimming pools, some of them grouped around the Pete Dye golf course. The colour scheme varies depending on the section of the hotel in which the room is located, but all rooms are spacious and modern, as well as have furnished balconies or terraces.

All rooms, except for improved and family two-level rooms, have large whirlpool tubs on the balconies. Standard amenities include iPod docking stations, large flat-screen TVs, free daily minibars, laptop safes and cabinets with ironing accessories and robes. Wireless Internet access is provided for an additional fee.

Barcelo Bavaro Palace beach is one of the most beautiful in Bavaro and Punta Cana. There are 4 swimming pools, including a children’s water park, an adult-only pool and a main pool with a pool bar.

Barcelo Bavaro Palace’s swimming pools are located next to the beach in the central part of the resort.

A small boutique sells sportswear, tennis shoes and even sports swimsuits for guests who have forgotten their equipment. The hotel has sports facilities, fitness classes and games.

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Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach

Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace is located near the fishing village of Bayaribe, about a 20-minute drive from La Romana Airport. The resort has 613 rooms in three-storey buildings, which mostly overlook the garden. All rooms are simple and do not have luxury. The rooms have a tiled floor, a desk, a mini fridge with bottled water and a small balcony with two plastic chairs and a small table.

The bungalow rooms are located closer to the water in separate single-storey houses with coral stone trim and thatched roof. These rooms are more quiet and quiet as they are located among beautiful manicured areas and usually have partial or full sea views.

The resort has a long beach area with loungers, which is divided into two sections: the main pool and the buffet.

There is a small spa with simple treatments, a large fitness center, tennis courts, a trapeze area and a children’s club under supervision. Guests can enjoy free motorless water sports, as well as a diving tour to the shipwreck off the coast. There is a sales office on site where you can book excursions to the island of Saona and the city of Santo Domingo.

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Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana

The hotel is located along the beach in the northern part of Bavaro, about a 35-minute drive from Punta Cana International Airport. This luxurious resort is decorated in rock and roll theme and has a huge set of first-class features that will appeal to all tourists. The hotel lobby has a rock star’s holiday atmosphere: a tall thatched ceiling, authentic chandeliers, guitars from The Monkees and an autographed piano by Brian Wilson.

Adult holidaymakers can spend their day in a spa, on a beautiful beach with loungers or in an adult-only pool; Families can use the children’s club and the mini-golf course; Gamblers can spend the night in a casino; Music lovers can attend a concert at the on-site theatre; and party-goers can go to oro nightclub in the wee hours.

The spacious rooms have a whirlpool bath, furnished balcony or terrace, free mini-bar, upscale cosmetics, flat-screen TV and satellite channels.

There is a beige tiled floor, simple wooden furniture, as well as large glass windows and doors leading to furnished balconies or terraces. Unfortunately, most of the rooms do not overlook the ocean. There is also a laptop safe, Bluetooth-enabled alarm clock and free Wi-Fi.

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Amanera

The AmaneraHotel, surrounded by green jungle overlooking the ocean, occupies an area on the pristine northern coast of the Dominican Republic. The resort is located on the golden sands of the legendary Playa Grande beach next to the island’s exclusive golf course. Amanera is a graceful, secluded place to stay.

The hotel has two bedrooms on top of a cliff with panoramic views and private pools. The local spa offers the shamanic healing traditions of the Dominican Republic, a menu of natural treatments, yoga, meditation and Pilates.

Casa Grande, overlooking the ocean, serves traditional Caribbean cuisine made from fresh local produce, as well as delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Guests can also dine on Playa Grande beach at club de Playa. Amanera offers endless opportunities for adventure, from surfing to jungle walks, golfing on the world-famous ocean-view course to tasting Caribbean rums and cigars.

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The Reserve At Paradisus Palma Real

This all-inclusive resort is located away from the beach, in a quiet area with a relaxing atmosphere.

The hotel is located next to the reserve. The hotel’s enclosures are scattered throughout, with each section having a separate concierge, which helps with booking and services. The main restaurant with the Gabi Club buffet system overlooks the pool. The hotel’s infrastructure features tennis courts, a magnificent spa with a fitness centre and yoga, beach and ecological park.

Nightlife may be family-oriented, as you would expect, but adults are likely to enjoy drinks and quality cuisine either here or in the neighborhood. Be sure to put on your walking shoes or head to the lobby for a transfer- the hotel staff is always ready to deliver guests anywhere in the resort, often with a smile.

The paradisus Palma Real nature reserve is located in the Bavaro area, which is closer to the village of Punta Cana. The resort does not have a separate beach, but has common amenities with the nearby Paradisus Palma Real. Bavaro Beach is often recognized as one of the best beaches according to UNESCO. Nature lovers can visit the eco-park on site, where you can watch the birds. Golfers can visit the nearby Cocotal Golf Course and Country Club for free.

The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real has 190 luxury suites, including 80 family rooms, 32 private gardens and 28 suites with access to the pool. The entry-level Paradisus overlooks the garden. Elegant and modern rooms are furnished with dark wood furniture, light fabrics and marble floors.

One or two bedroom suites have a king-size bed or two full beds, and the windows overlook a swimming pool or garden. All suites have a living and dining area, retractable sofas, a kitchenette, a flat-screen TV, a coffee maker, a free daily water-filled mini-bar, beer and snacks, a CD/DVD player and free Wi-Fi. Hydro-massage baths are standard and are located either indoors in large bathrooms or outside on furnished terraces. There are also showers, free cosmetics and a hairdryer.

The snack bar and 2 cocktail bars offer international premium liqueurs and wines. The nearby Paradisus Palm Real Golf and Spa has restaurants and bars. Room service is 24 hours a day.

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Zoetry Agua Punta Cana

It is a rustic resort with luxurious buildings and lush gardens. Upon arrival, guests are immediately greeted with a fruit drink, a cold towel and a smile. The resort welcomes guests of all ages, but there are no discounts for children and there are no children’s pool clubs.

The hotel has a beautiful grounds, which manages to combine the village view with luxury. The long pool shares lawns with palm trees, flower beds and rare wooden swings or hammocks. The rooms are located in two-storey buildings with open wooden staircases and footbridges, which creates a common tree house effect. The hotel is located near a closed beach.

The hotel does not offer nightly entertainment, with four fine restaurants on site, as well as pool bars, the beach and the lobby.

Spacious rooms – Suites have elegant bathrooms and furnished balconies or terraces, as well as butler services, a free mini-bar and free sparkling wine daily.

The suites of the hotel are distinguished by the upscale beach decor: dark wood furniture, vibrant local artwork and beautiful bamboo and straw accents. Soft beds with canopy and crisp white linens are located in the center of the bedroom. French doors lead to furnished patio or balconies overlooking a lush garden or ocean. Some suites can be accessed to a common pool. Modern amenities include a large flat-screen TV, a DVD player, an iPod dock, a laptop safe, an iron, an ironing board and free Wi-Fi, a free mini-bar that is updated twice a day, a daily free sparkling wine and fresh fruit, and locally produced beach bags that you can take home.

All rooms have deep stone bathing tubs, a double dressing table, a tropical shower, Bvlgari toiletries, and soft bathrobes and slippers. All suites are equipped with a personal butler, who can book a table for dinner, arrange special treats or rose petals in the baths. The maid’s services are provided three times a day.

All inclusive accommodation includes four restaurants with menu service, cafes and 24-hour room service.

Since there are only 96 suites, guests won’t see long queues at the buffet. Each restaurant serves dishes made with environmentally friendly products and conform to dietary restrictions.

  • The Olena restaurant is European-style and specialises in Italian dishes such as lasagna and red wine chicken. This is the most romantic restaurant in the resort. The dining room is furnished with white furniture and leather club chairs.
  • The Amaya Restaurant is open for breakfast, dinner and later night menus from 11pm to 7am. The semi-open dining room overlooks a large fountain and garden. The menu features Dominican and international cuisine.
  • Piragua serves Caribbean and Dominican cuisine for breakfast and dinner. The dining room is decorated in a nautical theme with ropes and canoes. The breakfast menu includes egg burritos, Belgian waffles and tropical fruit pancakes.
  • Indigo, open from early morning to late evening, serves international cuisine. The Piragua offers the same menu for breakfast, followed by steaks and tuna ceviche for lunch.
  • Coco Cafe is a cute coffee shop offering branded coffee and confectionery with croissants, coconut eclairs and fruit. The resort does not have a snack bar or buffet, but provides afternoon tea with light dishes and live vegetable tea infusions.

It features a long pool, a beautiful private beach, plenty of free activities, and wedding packages. The beach is smaller than in neighbouring hotels, but the hotel provides comfortable loungers and umbrellas.

The hotel also has a footpath, yoga, bike hire and kayaks. Guests can take a 45-minute horseback ride and a 20-minute free massage. For an additional fee, there are riding sessions and longer massage sessions.

Wedding packages as well as bridal packages and anniversary packages are available to guests at the hotel. Free wi-fi is available throughout the hotel. Next to the cafe is a small business center with computers and printers.

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Alina Abramova

Be travelers, not tourists. Try new things, meet new people, and go beyond what's right in front of your nose. These are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in. (c) Andrew Zimmern