Where To Stay
Punta Cana is the Caribbean's all inclusive capital, so choosing where to stay is not an easy decision. Punta Cana's continuing hotel and resort boom mirrors how Cancun suddenly sprouted out of wilderness and spread to become the famed Rivera Maya paralleling the Mexican Caribbean coast.
Punta Cana now has an estimated 120 hotels and more than 40,000 hotel rooms. International investors built most resorts and many are Spanish owned with familiar brand names like Iberostar, Barcelo and Melia.
Unlike Cancun where resorts are not restricted to how tall they can build, by law in Punta Cana hotels cannot be higher than a palm tree. This is why many large hotels are so spread out and may require a tram to move around comfortably.
Today, Punta Cana has more all-inclusive hotels than any other Caribbean resort area and the all-inclusive resorts dominate Punta Cana, accounting for well over 90 percent of the properties.
Their number keeps expanding because vacationers like the concept and keep coming, often as repeat customers. Resorts still have to contend for attention to distinguish themselves as more than just another all-inclusive experience.
Although families are welcome virtually everywhere, certain hotels make themselves more family-friendly by including kid’s clubs with supervised activities so parents are free to enjoy their own vacation part of the day.
Some guests prefer not to have kids present anywhere on resort grounds, a demand certain adults-only hotels meet by a minimum age 18 requirement for anyone in a room. Adult-only hotels are popular for older travelers but especially honeymooners seeking privacy on their first week together.
Of course, there are hotels for the rich and famous and those who like to vacation in a lavish style. These resorts often own a golf course or provide guest access to them but not all do. With a dozen golf courses and more scheduled to open, Punta Cana is among the Caribbean’s top spots for a golf vacation.
Probably the most important reason Punta Cana stays popular is the good value their all-inclusive resorts can provide: no tipping, no taxes, no drink charges and no surprises at all if you’ve chosen the right resort.
A standard room in mid-range to moderate all-inclusives often range from $125 to $200 per day per person, depending on season. Hotel internet promotions for 5- and 7-day stays can drop prices much lower.
Airline vacation packages might be the best of both worlds with their discounted rooms and reduced airfare. Keep in mind Punta Cana Airport is the DR’s largest and busiest served by numerous airlines who like to keep their planes as full as possible.
During the winter months of January to about mid-April high season when rates increase dramatically, airlines often increase flights to meet increased demand. During some weeks, passenger numbers may be low enough you can find good deals even then.
For a once-a-year vacation, consider waiting until late spring, summer or fall for generally better weather and significantly lower hotel rates.
Tropical storms are most likely from mid-August through September, but every year is different.
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