It’s no secret that I am madly in love with Dominican Republic. It’s one of my favorite places to travel, and it is my favorite Caribbean Island (so far). I’ve visited the country on several occasions by plane, by cruise ship – I literally don’t care how I get there, I just love going. Dominican Republic is a place full of friendly, lovely people, delicious food, a decent beer (yeah, I like Presidente), and some of the most beautiful beaches accessible by a simple 2 hour flight. It’s right in my backyard, and I take full advantage of that as often as I can!
I was invited to visit Dominican Republic as part of an all-expenses paid press trip in December and I gladly accepted. If you follow me on social media, you might recall that I went to Puerto Plata for eight days on my own in the summer of 2015 after my husband asked for a divorce. When I found out that the press trip was eight days, I thought nothing of it! If I enjoyed eight days alone, I was pretty sure that I’d enjoy eight days with a group of media! I was right.
My favorite property during our stay was at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, which is a hotel I’ve actually visited on my own in the past. The last time I was there was for a wedding and my ex-husband and I traveled together…so you can imagine that I was a bit nervous about the emotional aspect of visiting a property I’d been to prior to my divorce. You can read about that here. I know that many wouldn’t consider a Hard Rock Hotel a luxurious accommodation, but the hotel in Punta Cana would change your mind!
The rooms are so luxurious, with premium bedding, plenty of space, outlets all over the rooms, a fully stocked mini bar in each room…
And Jacuzzi bathtubs. IN EVERY ROOM. I really love the layouts of the rooms, they’re so wide and spacious, but still intimate. And every room has a private balcony!
The largest property in Punta Cana, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has 3,000 rooms and is an all-inclusive resort…which means that the pina coladas, strawberry daiquiris, or my favorite – the Miami Vice – are free flowing!
There are little bars all over the beach and pool area at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, so you never have to go far without a drink in your hand…
My favorite bars are actually the tiki bars on the beach. Their frozen drinks are made with fresh fruit – not any of that gross premade boxed mix – and you can either run up to the bar and grab a drink, or wait until a waiter comes to you to take your order.
Note: The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is an all-inclusive resort, so all of these drinks are complimentary, BUT it is always in good taste to tip waiters and waitresses. It’s just good Karma. My general rule is $1 for each drink I order. ESPECIALLY if the waiters are bringing drinks down to the beach for you and saving you the trouble of getting up every 30 minutes.
Oh, and those beaches? Yes, it’s a private beach, and there are ample lounge chairs, tiki huts and cabanas! You can very easily spend an entire day just lounging in that beautiful Caribbean sunshine, listening to the waves…
They Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana has everything from a killer spa (I’ve had massages there on two occasions and they were equally amazing), several gorgeous pools – including the Eden Pool, an adults only pool, a kid’s club, an 18 hole golf course, a shopping galleria INSIDE the hotel, and so much more! For golfers, the Hard Rock Golf Club at Cana Bay has 18 holes of championship golf designed by Nicklaus Golf. The course is 7,253 yards in length and is a Par 72 course.
You can even take scuba diving lessons in the pool!
It’s like a little self-contained city and absolutely perfect for those that want to get away from it all and isolate themselves at a resort for a relaxing vacation, or use it as a luxurious base of operations during their stay in Punta Cana.
You can find out more about the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana here!