Looking for an upscale all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic? Families may already be familiar with the rock'n'roll theming of the Hard Rock Hotel brand from locations such as the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, one of the on-site resorts at Universal Orlando Resort. Signature features include grand lobbies with larger-than-life displays of music memorabilia and a Fender guitar "room service" program boasting a menu of 20 electric guitars to choose from and jam out on.
In the resort area of Punta Cana, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana was the first all-inclusive in the chain. (Since then, several more all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels have been introduced in Mexico.) Included in the rate are your accommodations, meals, beverages (even wine and liquor), room service, land activities, children's and family activities, non-motorized water sports, wi-fi and even gratuities.
The beachfront property is gigantic, spread across 121 acres, with 16 different buildings containing 1,775 guestrooms. The landscaped grounds feature 13 pools, nine restaurants, and a spa. Because of the resort's expansive size, getting from your suite to the pools or restaurants may require a long walk or a shuttle bus, so consider this when you choose your accommodations. Think about requesting a suite near the family pool or beach.
While the Hard Rock Hotel might not seem at first like the most kid-friendly choice, families will be pleasantly surprised that this hotel offers plenty for kids of all ages.
Among the swimming pools is a family pool and a splash pad for younger kids. There's a variety of beach activities, a kids club, teen activities, an arcade, a mini-golf course, and an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
New in 2017 is Woodward Punta Cana, a skate and BMX park that will offer the one-of-a-kind chance to snowboard and snow ski in the Dominican Republic, along with cheer and hip hop dance programs and amenities, trampoline, a Digital Media Camp and more.
The supervised children's program is called Little Big Club, which features interactive activities, arts and crafts, and games, and incorporates favorite TV characters such as Barney, Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder and Thomas The Tank Engine. Children under 4 years of age are welcomed with an accompanying adult. Kids ages 4 to 12 can attend without an accompanying adult.
As you might expect, there is also a wide range of dining options, with cuisines including Caribbean, Italian, Latin American, Japanese, Brazilian, and a steakhouse. There's also a buffet, a pizzeria, and an ice cream cafe.
Accommodations are spacious and feature enormous, two-person showers and hot tubs. There are several types of suites ranging from one to three bedrooms.
Punta Cana, at the eastern tip of the island, is a prime beach area in the Dominican Republic, famed for long sweeps of beach, and is home to many resorts that are popular for family vacations. Against a backdrop of swaying palm trees, the beaches of Punta Cana are among the prettiest in the Caribbean. Hard Rock Hotel is one of the largest and nicest all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana.
Features for families at the Hard Rock Hotel, Punta Cana include:
- prime beachfront location
- all-inclusive pricing, including alcohol
- spacious suites, from one to three bedrooms
- kids club with video games, arts and crafts, games, Spanish classes
- lagoon-style connected pools
- three kids pools
- giant waterslide, lazy river
- climbing wall and mini golf
- game arcade
- check for special offers such as resort credits or "Kids Stay Free" promotions.
- 24-hour room service is a nice convenience for families
- if you want to splurge, the "Rock Star Level" upgrade includes 24 hour dedicated butler service and private cellphone to communicate with your butler, exclusive room amenities and room service menu, private pool and beach concierge, and more
Check rates at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
- Edited by Suzanne Rowan Kelleher