Punta Cana Adult All-Inclusive Hotels

SKY

Gold
Apr 11, 2004
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Thanks folks I've got a few more questions for you.
A couple have mentioned preferring to book directly with the hotel.
I certainly am amenable to that. When traveling on the fly, I've often done that.

Will the hotels offer the same FREE CANCELLATION that Booking.com is offering?
Booking.com gives a cut-off date for this. After the date passes you are locked into paying.

I had an idea that I'd like to run by you folks. I'm not sure anyone here has done this before.
I haven't.

I am considering hedging my bets on this vacation.

I know what Catalonia Royal Bavaro is like. I stayed there three years ago.
I wasn't blown away by it. Rooms were OK, Food was just OK. Beach had the infamous seaweed.
But I know what to expect. That's important.

I am thinking about booking two hotels for my 10 day+ vacation.
That way I can be assured of something decent with Catalonia Royal Bavaro
and possibly something better/worse with the second hotel.

The second hotel I'm looking at now is coincidentally part of the Catalonia family;
Catalonia Bayahibe.

Any impressions about that hotel and my idea?

Five days with say Catalonia Bayahibe and then five plus days with Catalonia Royal Bavaro.
Just me, but your idea is not what I would ever recommend. You are just settled in and you have to leave and go a distance to another town and start all over. Not what makes a pleasant leisurely vacation..............
 

RDKNIGHT

Bronze
Mar 13, 2017
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Personally I think if your budget is $150 per person per day, that's not a great deal for an all-inclusive and you have to recognise that you're not going to get all that much in this market, where tourism is booming as it soaks up all the demand that didn't happen during the pandemic. You need to understand that of your $150 per person per day, 18% is tax, 10% is service charge, 15% is paid to the travel agent and from the US$ 90 remaining you want a nice room, unlimited drinks, unlimited food and a beachfront location. So if we break it down to, say, US$ 60 for the food/drink element and US$ 30 for the room element, then you're now down to US$20 per meal. If you went to an all-you-can-eat place in the US and it was $20 for unlimited food and drinks, do you think the quality would be good? And remember our food prices are now way higher than the US, have a wander around a Dominican supermarket.

If it has to be an AI, then keepcoming's recommendations are spot-on as far as I'm concerned, the Hyatts are currently the best ones. They are expensive but I've only heard good reports. Eden Roc has also got a great reputation with eye-watering prices, and Barcelo Bavaro Beach is also perfectly OK, they do a lot of conventions there and they have a lovely pool. The Catalonia and Be Live are both much less upscale brands. Be Live can often get full of groups of young people (adults but we're talking early twenties). A friend of mine stayed there and said the food was dire, and honestly he's kind of rough so I was surprised.

I would recommend that you have a look at some of the rental products. Look at renting an apartment through someone like VRBO or AirBnB and you'll find quite a few which are on complexes which have a restaurant and which have a shuttle to the beach or are within a walk of the beach. I would look at Karibo as an example. The apartments are really nice, it's very quiet, the pools are lovely and again quiet as you don't get hoardes of drunk idiots screaming. They have a restaurant on site, but you also have a kitchen so you can either cook or eat at the restaurant and they do a shuttle golf cart to the beach, you just call when you want to come back. Personally I'd far rather be there than in any AI. And this is one of many, there are quite a few of those types of properties in Bavaro / Punta Cana.

Does it absolutely have to be Bavaro / Punta Cana ? The fact that you are on this forum (which is mainly used by people who live in DR) shows you are thinking a lot more about your vacation than 99% of people who go to Bavaro. Would you consider hiring a car and mooching around the island? A mix of all-inclusive and normal hotels in different locations maybe? Would you like to see a bit of culture, a bit of history, eat the freshest chicken you can imagine eating, get drunk and do the merengue with some locals? Sit on a beautiful white beach with literally about 10 people on it? Drive through eye-wateringly beautiful mountains? This country has way more to offer than nasty AI buffets, crammed beaches and long lines for everything that is pretty typical of most AI's in Bavaro.
right..
 

snowbrat85

Newbie
Sep 6, 2014
26
5
3
Melia

Go to them. You want a PC hotel? In that dollar range you can go to the Melia Caribe or Punta Cana Beach.. They have plenty of upgrades for a VIP section or adults Only.. two really good pools and an excellent section of beach front. It's owned by a company that has several hotels all next to each other so you can choose really how you want the experience to be. I have visited for the past 2 years at least 10 times all 5 days or longer.. They have made some updates to areas around it and I believe they're finishing an amusement park in the front that you can also get discounts to go see
 
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MarkDR

Member
Feb 18, 2016
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Just me, but your idea is not what I would ever recommend. You are just settled in and you have to leave and go a distance to another town and start all over. Not what makes a pleasant leisurely vacation..............
Yeah, upon further reflection I didn't think it was such a good idea for the reasons you stated. :)
 
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MarkDR

Member
Feb 18, 2016
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Personally I think if your budget is $150 per person per day, that's not a great deal for an all-inclusive and you have to recognise that you're not going to get all that much in this market, where tourism is booming as it soaks up all the demand that didn't happen during the pandemic. You need to understand that of your $150 per person per day, 18% is tax, 10% is service charge, 15% is paid to the travel agent and from the US$ 90 remaining you want a nice room, unlimited drinks, unlimited food and a beachfront location. So if we break it down to, say, US$ 60 for the food/drink element and US$ 30 for the room element, then you're now down to US$20 per meal. If you went to an all-you-can-eat place in the US and it was $20 for unlimited food and drinks, do you think the quality would be good? And remember our food prices are now way higher than the US, have a wander around a Dominican supermarket.
In our case the hotels will be doing very well thank you. :)
Neither of us drink and we both eat like birds. We eat less than half of what a regular Jane/John would.
 

SKY

Gold
Apr 11, 2004
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Melia

Go to them. You want a PC hotel? In that dollar range you can go to the Melia Caribe or Punta Cana Beach.. They have plenty of upgrades for a VIP section or adults Only.. two really good pools and an excellent section of beach front. It's owned by a company that has several hotels all next to each other so you can choose really how you want the experience to be. I have visited for the past 2 years at least 10 times all 5 days or longer.. They have made some updates to areas around it and I believe they're finishing an amusement park in the front that you can also get discounts to go see
OK choice also, but forget the Park, not even close to opening...Paradius next door with the same company is a good one also if you can get your price..........
 

MariaRubia

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
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In our case the hotels will be doing very well thank you. :)
Neither of us drink and we both eat like birds. We eat less than half of what a regular Jane/John would.

Then I see absolutely no logic in you going to an all inclusive resort. The only reason would be because the alcohol is free and the food is unlimited. If those are not a draw then you would get way better value for money in a hotel where you pay for what you consume.
 

MarkDR

Member
Feb 18, 2016
262
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Then I see absolutely no logic in you going to an all inclusive resort. The only reason would be because the alcohol is free and the food is unlimited. If those are not a draw then you would get way better value for money in a hotel where you pay for what you consume.

OK, thanks. I will consider this for our next trip.
 

SKY

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Apr 11, 2004
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Then I see absolutely no logic in you going to an all inclusive resort. The only reason would be because the alcohol is free and the food is unlimited. If those are not a draw then you would get way better value for money in a hotel where you pay for what you consume.
Not easy to find a class resort on the beach here that is NOT an AI. There are a few though, and they charge the same or even more money than most AI's.............
 

keepcoming

Moderator - Living & General Stuff
May 25, 2011
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Very true Sky. I have looked at the Westin prices, then when you add the cost of your meals it comes out to be more than some resorts.
 
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MariaRubia

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Jun 25, 2019
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There is a massive difference in quality of everything between a hotel that is providing AI and a hotel that is not. I work in hospitality and I know the game. The chefs in the AI's are specifically told to put things on buffets that don't go together and not to season the food to stop people wanting more. A lot of the cocktails come from ready-mixed bottles, and these have hardly any rum in them, or very cheap rum. And if you compare like with like, ie compare what Hyatt are doing with providing decent food and good quality drinks, then for a couple who don't eat a lot and don't drink a lot, a traditional hotel will come out cheaper.

And a big plus if you don't drink is that you aren't having to spend your days surrounded by crowds of people who literally start drinking at breakfast time and spend the entire day drunk and raucous.
 

MariaRubia

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
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Very true Sky. I have looked at the Westin prices, then when you add the cost of your meals it comes out to be more than some resorts.

I think you should look at non-chain hotels. There are a lot of really nice independent hotels around which don't charge such crazy prices.
 

SKY

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Apr 11, 2004
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I did a quick search on the big name booking sites and didn't find any non-AI hotels in Punta Cana (I found apartments).
Could you name a few that you would recommend?
Here is the only one I know personally of. It is not an AI, but you get free breakfasts. A very nice hotel I may add. But check the prices.......

 

NanSanPedro

Nickel with tin plating
Apr 12, 2019
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Here is the only one I know personally of. It is not an AI, but you get free breakfasts. A very nice hotel I may add. But check the prices.......

For those prices I need just a bit more than a free breakfast.
 
Jan 9, 2004
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In our case the hotels will be doing very well thank you. :)
Neither of us drink and we both eat like birds. We eat less than half of what a regular Jane/John would.
If that is the case, then I would recommend finding a Timeshare for rent inside an AI hotel complex. If you want meals, they generally come with an AI option too.

Lots of hotels have them available as their Timeshare people put their unit(s) in the rental pool. You get the typical resort amenities, but not the food or drink.

Good luck.


Respectfully,
Playacaribe2
 

keepcoming

Moderator - Living & General Stuff
May 25, 2011
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I think you should look at non-chain hotels. There are a lot of really nice independent hotels around which don't charge such crazy prices.
Can you provide some more info on the properties, as I have only seen Westin, Tortuga and Sheraton (Four Point?).
 
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MarkDR

Member
Feb 18, 2016
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If that is the case, then I would recommend finding a Timeshare for rent inside an AI hotel complex. If you want meals, they generally come with an AI option too.

Lots of hotels have them available as their Timeshare people put their unit(s) in the rental pool. You get the typical resort amenities, but not the food or drink.

Good luck.


Respectfully,
Playacaribe2
So what exactly are the options for a Timeshare when you want to eat?
Buy your food at grocery store and prepare on your own?
Arrange for meals at AI hotel, with or without AI option?