The Best Resorts in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is quickly becoming a world-wide hotspot for vacationers seeking the best the Caribbean has to offer. Between the variety of attractions, the friendliness of the locals, and the country’s natural beauty, it’s no surprise that it’s climbed the ranks so quickly.
And for those looking for the most relaxing time possible, their best option is to look for resorts to stay at. These resorts will allow you to spend your time in the Dominican Republic without worry, so you can maximize the enjoyment of your stay.
We’ve gone through dozens of Dominican resorts to bring you the best of the best, so get to reading!
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Punta Cana
While this resort will certainly appeal to lovers of the signature Hard Rock brand, looking at it as only a niche hotel will make you miss out on a great opportunity.
For starters, the Hard Rock Hotel prides itself on its free liquor dispensers and—of course—the Hard Rock décor. It has free parking for those who hope to rent a car and explore the island on their own, as well as one of the most well-equipped fitness centers of any resort on this list, making it a must for those who like to keep in-shape even on vacation. On that note, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino also has one of the best 18-hole gold courses in the country, designed by the famous Jack Nicklaus.
For those into dining and drinking, rather than fitness, this resort has 23 bars and 13 restaurants, known for exceeding the usual standards of resort dining. Likewise, it has a constant performances at the nightclub, and a theater.
The resort isn’t perfect, of course; while the nightclub always has someone good booked, there is only one nightclub. Plus, the resort is absolutely massive and known for being a little difficult to navigate. Finally, some have said that there are noise issues in the rooms, probably caused by loud neighbors or thin walls.
But, we’ve saved the best for last: the casino. Yes, the Hard Rock Casino is actually the Dominican Republic’s largest casino and, with it added onto the property, this nearly 1,800-room resort becomes among the largest on the island.
Paradisus Punta Cana Resort
Paradisus has several resorts spread throughout Punta Cana, but this is by far the largest. Now, with only 680 rooms, it lacks the sheer quantity you’ll find at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. But, what it does have is space. These nearly 700 rooms are spread out over a wide area, leaving you with more room per person.
As a result, while some people like to walk through the spacious, beautiful property, most either use the shuttles or make use of their bike rentals. The resort almost seems built for bicyclists, as it has tons of bike stations located all over.
Really, one word best describes Paradisus Punta Cana Resort: “Peace.” The resort is set up to look like a garden, and the beach is laden with shaded loungers and other places to relax. It has a ton of international buffets and to-go restaurants, and the rooms have both coffee and mini-bars. The Asian spa on the property is renowned through the island and, for those wanting to do something romantic, they have a wedding gazebo. There’s even a yoga studio, if that’s your thing.
You do have to pay for this peace and luxury, of course; Paradisus Punta Cana Resort is more expensive than its nearby competitors, and some of the restaurants cost extra.
But, speaking of peace and quiet…
Zoetry Agua Punta Cana
Zoetry’s size stands out, immediately…
Because it’s so small.
In fact, Zoetry Agua only has 96 rooms. And crazier yet—it considers this a selling point.
You see, Zoetry Agua caters specifically to couples looking for a peaceful, romantic vacation away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Just the two of you at a romantic resort in the closest thing to paradise on Earth. And while it takes a little big of effort to get to the location, it’s well worth it.
Zoetry Agua has the most uncrowded private beach of any resort on this list, and you have unlimited access to high-end liquors and delicious food. Speaking of liquor, the pool is well kept and has a swim-up bar. For those that don’t know, that’s a bar you can just swim to and order at. The rooms are huge, and have modern technology to keep you and your beau comfortable. And once you’re tired of chilling in your room and at the pool, you can enjoy couples yoga, snorkeling, horseback riding, and a massage.
The biggest downside to Zoetry is the lack of a place to store your kids for the trip, which means it’s a better option for childless couples.
Besides, it’s not the only spot without room for kids.
Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel
Do you like flamingo and beautiful scenery? We hope so, because the Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel has a lot of both.
Iberostar is probably one of the more “mature” options on this list. It’s adults-only, meaning it’s not a place to bring your kids. What’s more, the resort doesn’t go for excitement, and the nightlife options are much more laid-back (despite being hosted on an actual ship), which can push away those looking to party.
But, it’s considered the most high-end of Iberostar’s offerings in the Dominican Republic, despite having only a modest price-hike. It even has a butler service. While it does have 274 rooms, it operates on the same principal as Paradisus Punta Cana Resort, opting for a lot of space to allow all occupants to hang around the resort without getting in each others’ way. The beach is rarely crowded, though not quite as pristine as Zoetry Agua.
The bathrooms are notably luxurious, with bathrobes and slippers included, and jetted tubs with views of the beautiful scenery.
Oh, and the scenery; while Iberostar does have great beaches, you have to be sure to check out the gardens and lakes, as they’re immaculately managed.
Lastly, for those of you mature, business-types, the Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel has a business center aimed at manly, refined men, complete with pool tables, poker tables, and good liquor.
Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado
Want to feel like you own your own island? Yes?
Then this is the resort for you.
Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado is the only resort in the Dominican Republic that occupies its own island. As a result, it has one of the best beaches in the whole of the Dominican Republic. What’s more, it’s one of the few resorts that’s aimed at families but still has a relaxing atmosphere. Some criticize the food and service, but that’s a small price to pay for this much serenity.
Oh, and the bathrooms are polished marble with Jacuzzi tubs, in case you didn’t feel pampered enough, already.
Majestic Elegance Punta Cana
Majestic Elegance Punta Cana doesn’t go in for gimmicks or anything “unique.” Instead, it opts to do what everyone else is doing… only better.
And part of that just comes from it being a more modern offering. This resort was opened late in 2008, and as a result, it’s newer, cleaner, and was built with modern life in mind. While there isn’t much to say that stands out like having your own island or being aimed at couples, everything it does have is exceptional. The pool, the beach, the jacuzzis in every friggin’ room, even the free high-end liquor (We’re talking Macallan, by the way). In fact, even the beds have been noted as better than many of its competitors.
Breathless Punta Cana Resort and Spa
The only resort more modern than Majestic Elegance, Breathless Punta Cana Resort and Spa opened in November of 2013. Thus, it features the most modern of amenities, with high-end TV’s and free, lightning-fast wi-fi. At 750 rooms, it’s massive. And while it’s adults only, it’s full of activities for those of us that remain young at heart.
There are water sports and a variety of pool parties, as well as daily activities including sailing, snorkeling, and tennis. You have your choice of pools, including a whirlpool and a lazy river. The night life here is head and shoulders above of most resorts on the island, with myriad bars and themed parties.
And once you wear yourself out, you’ll figure out why it’s got “spa” in the name. The spa has high-tech treatment rooms and a salon, and all the rooms have balconies to relax on in between parties. And if you’re so worn out you don’t want to leave your room—well, no worries. There’s 24-hour room service.
The Dominican Republic its quickly becoming the go-to vacation spot for a reason, and nowhere is that more apparent than the quality of the resorts sprouting up on the island. So, whether you’re looking for an adventure or a way to get away for a bit, these resorts will give you what you want.
Written by Connor Johnson
Connor Johnson is a flexible content and copy writer located in the Boston area. He supplements his writing with in-depth research and general marketing skills. He can be contacted here.