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In the easternmost corner of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana looks out over the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean from endless stretches of white- and gold-sand beach. The outdoorsman's destination is rife with activities: zip-lining, windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, deep-sea fishing, and horseback riding are all popular. With such a wealth of things to do, there are, of course, many all-inclusive resorts to choose from — and with unbelievable amenities you may not expect. Whether you're headed to the DR with family, friends or business partners, and whether you're looking for action-packed excursions or long days spent by the pool (drink in hand), you'll find accommodations well-suited to your needs. Here, the best all-inclusive resorts Punta Cana has to offer.
Best Overall: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
The massive Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana — it has nearly 2,000 rooms — hugs the white sands of Macao Beach for 121-oceanfront-acres. As the brand's first all-inclusive hotel and casino, Hard Rock put in work to make sure the resort boasted stellar amenities that would appeal to all ages. There's the signature Rock Spa which offers Rhythm & Motion — the world's first fully immersive music-centric spa menu; an 18-hole Jack Niklaus-designed golf club; a larger-than-life Vegas-style casino (DR's largest) with an Oro Nightclub; and incredible music memorabilia, of course.
The perks don't stop there. Guests won't want to miss the 13 expansive pools, four swim-up bars, kids' pool, and lazy river. There’ll never be a lack of food options, either, with included meals at the Brazilian steakhouse Ipanema, Teppanyaki-style Chinese and Japanese dishes at Zen and brick oven pizza at Pizzeto. For families traveling with kiddos, the resort also offers the KIDZ BOP Experience for kids ages 4-12. The activity includes a “Pop Star Lounge,” where they will work with a Tour Manager to create a custom band name, learn their favorite KIDZ BOP dance moves, put together their red carpet-worthy look, take an A-list photo, perform on the big stage and more.
Best Budget: Club Med Punta Cana
Located in the heart of the beautiful Dominican Republic, Club Med Punta Cana is a surprisingly value-priced spot for an all-inclusive getaway. The resort offers more than 550 rooms ranging from standard to deluxe suites, as well as some family-specific accommodations. Guests looking for something a little extra can book a suite in the Tiara Space — a 5-Trident resort-within-the-resort where VIP treatment includes a private infinity pool and 32 suites with personalized service. Likewise, there's the Zen Oasis property — a serene adults-only hideaway with 78 spa-inspired rooms which are tucked away in wellness-minded bungalows.
Aside from plush accommodations, the resort also offers a central location just 10 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport. That means you can drop your bags and hit the beach right away to participate in fun land and sea activities like swimming in the renovated main pool, mastering windsurfing and more. Families can also experience CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil — a creative playground inspired by the world-renowned acrobatic shows.
Best Boutique: TRS Turquesa Hotel
The TRS Turquesa offers the privacy and personalized service of a small VIP resort with the amenities and services of a larger hotel. In fact, the TRS prides itself on customization and its “Infinite Indulgence” concept which elevates its service well beyond your typical all-inclusive. Here, 372 suites are all equipped with hydromassage tubs, and some are even kitted out with romantic canopied beds and swim-up pool access. All guests have their own around-the-clock butler who can do everything from draw you a bubble bath to unpack or repack your bags. The stellar service doesn't stop there, either; guests can also request things like specific spirits or snacks for their minibar, and private yoga lessons or personal training sessions on the beach.
Innovative technology features also allow for a seamless experience. Instead of carrying a room key, guests wear a waterproof wristband that gains them easy entry to their suite. Guests can also do everything from order room service to customize their pillow selection via the hotel’s mobile app or in-room TV. When you do venture out of your room, there are four restaurants, four bars, seven pools, complimentary access to the hydrotherapy areas at the spa and a private section of the beach to enjoy.
Best for Families: Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites Resort & Spa
Named after one of the most famous beaches on the east coast of the Quisqueya province, this all-inclusive resort is surrounded by lush vegetation, white sand beaches, and beautiful blue waters. Traveling broods will settle in quite nicely as the Grand Palladium offers a Family Master Junior Suite which includes a children’s kit with items customizable by age, games, a “fun tent” and a DVD player with a selection of films.
The resort also boasts Castillo del Pirata — the largest kids’ club in the Caribbean and Mexico. Themed like a colonial fort, it houses the Baby Club and Mini Club which offer age-appropriate activities for children ages 1 to 3 and 4 to 12. The resort also has “Black & White” Junior Club which keeps teenagers between 13 and 17 supervised and entertained with a full program of activities, special lounges with video games and table games, and a computer lounge. Younger kiddos will love "Raggs and friends” — a musical quintet of colorful dogs who pop up throughout the resort during character breakfasts, surf-themed dance parties, pirate-themed shows, and a live stage show featuring “The Raggs Band.”
Are you a parent looking for a night sans kids? You can arrange for an in-room babysitter and step out to enjoy a meal and cocktail at one of eight a la carte restaurants, five buffet-style restaurants, and 22 bars. Post-dinner, don't miss out on a dip in the adults-only “El Secreto” pool (one of five) which is open until midnight.
Best for Romance: Iberostar Grand Bavaro
There are few things more romantic than a stunning sunrise or sunset view over a tropical island destination — and that's just what guests at Iberostar Grand Bavaro are in for. The all-inclusive resort features 272 suites which include 12 oceanfront suites that look out over the Caribbean, 19 swim-up pool suites and 241 standard suites that provide private balcony views of either the ocean or the property's manicured gardens. No matter which suite you pick, you'll find it plenty spacious as rooms start at 505 square feet.
As part of the all-inclusive rate, guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at five different restaurants, unlimited premium drinks, access to the fitness club, a variety of onsite activities like water polo, archery and volleyball, and more. With personalized butler service, a spa and gourmet dining, there are endless ways to pass your stay here. Take some time to enjoy the panoramic turquoise ocean view from the jacuzzi or relax with a beach-side massage complemented by an easy Caribbean breeze. There’s also golf in the form of an 18-hole course and after some time on the links, you can sit down for cuisine that celebrates the vibrant culinary culture of the Dominican Republic with echoes of Taino, African and Spanish traditions and — of course — lots of Caribbean flare.
Best for Luxury: Barceló Bávaro Palace
Stretched along more than a mile of Bávaro Beach's legendary white sand, Barceló Bavaro Palace is fronted by a coral reef that siphons the Caribbean Sea into a natural, safe-to-swim pool for guests to enjoy. Beyond its prime beachfront locale, the five-star resort offers a laundry list of luxury amenities from 11 different dining experiences and state-of-the-art U-Spa to the Lakes Barceló Golf Course and a 24-hour casino. There are also five swimming pools (including a semi-Olympic pool), a theater and two water parks to keep kids cool and entertained.
Those seeking a more elevated experience will want to check out the 1,200-square-foot-plus Premium Level accommodations as they offer the best views, unlimited access to specialty dinner restaurants, 24-hour room service, and a waived green free at the on-site course every day (you simply pay the golf cart fee). Likewise, Family Duplexes offer two-bedroom accommodations, special kid-friendly minibars (think milk and cereal) and exclusive check-in times. While the resort certainly doles out lots of luxury, just keep in mind its massive size: some 1,900 guestrooms and suites — most with private hot tubs and balconies — make up the Punta Cana property.
Best for Nightlife: Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
There’s a lot to love about Secrets, located on the palm-studded, sugar-white Playa Bavaro beach — and it starts with "Unlimited-Luxury." Here, 464 pool, ocean and island-view suites — which start at a roomy 570 square feet — feature full marble bathrooms, private balconies with hyrdotubs, and furnished terraces. Beds are swathed in quality linens, minibars are refreshed daily with unlimited premium beverages and guests are eagerly waited on whether they're at the pool or beach. These may be standard amenities when it comes to the Secrets brand, but beyond stellar service and a palapa and palm tree-dotted beach, the resort also offers a lazy river that connects to swim-up suites, limitless a la carte dining options, 24-hour room service, weekly foam parties in the main pool, theme nights on the beach and access to restaurants at neighboring sister resorts Now Larmar and Now Garden Punta Cana. When the sun goes down, start your night right with live entertainment at the resort's indoor theater, then hit Eclipse Nightclub — an alfresco disco with a pool perfect for stargazing.
Best for Business: The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real
This luxe all-inclusive resort is an ideal respite for those who happen to be in Punta Cana on business but don’t want to forget that post-work, they do have a tropical oasis to explore. Suites feature large safes so you can securely stow your laptop and valuables, while Wi-Fi is available around the pool so you can work out in the sun if you can handle all the distractions. If you're hosting a corporate event, the resort offers one of the Caribbean's most well-equipped convention centers as well as smaller facilities for more intimate meetings. Depending on how casual your get-togethers are, you can take clients for lunch or dinner at onsite restaurants like Passion by Martín Berasategui, a chef who holds eight Michelin stars; Olio, an authentic Italian trattoria; Aqua Steakhouse; or Bana, a sushi and teppanyaki spot.
Best View: Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana
About two miles northwest of the overpopulated Bávaro resort strip, Zoëtry finds itself nestled along a secluded stretch of Uvero Alto Beach. The resort's 96 ultra-luxurious suites are all about cathedral ceilings, rustic palapa roofs, natural wooden furnishings, plush chaise lounges and arresting ocean and garden views. All-inclusive rates at the tropical paradise include access to four gourmet a la carte restaurants, three bars and lounges and a whopping 41 additional dining and entertainment venue options at nearby sister properties. There's also a luxurious spa and salon, full-service fitness center and unlimited top-shelf cocktails, but there's a lot more to do here than drink and lounge by the pool. Sign up for a horseback riding excursion or join a cigar-rolling class for something a little out of the ordinary.