In February we took a quick trip to Dominican Republic to enjoy some sun, sand, get a little bronzed, and enjoy the beach life before diving back into the ever-changing winter weather of northern Virginia! It was only a 4 day trip but was a nice mini getaway before things really started picking up for me and also a nice respite from the half-hearted winter that gave us no real snow and therefore nothing really to look forward to except cold, grey weather.
We stayed at Paradisus, an all-inclusive resort on the northern side of Punta Cana. The resort was wonderful and the sunshine and warm, salty air was exactly what I needed to reset.
The lobby was separate from the rooms on the resort and was an open-air paradise full of trickling water, lush, verdant tropical plants and the coziest porch swings and lounge areas to wait for the shuttle to take you to and fro one end of the resort to the other!
There were several restaurants on the resort and we dined at the breakfast buffet more than once. Overlooking the beach and the ocean it was the perfect spot to start the day!
While we were lounging by the beach there was a wedding setup next to us! I'll admit it was tough to see things being setup without wanting to jump in and assist but I was a few pińa coladas in and wouldn't have been of much assistance anyway.
As it is an all-inclusive resort, there was no paying for drinks or dinner (other than the wine that we purchased with every meal because we are snobs and had to). But on the last night we treated ourselves to the only Michelin-rated restaurant on site and had a phenomenal meal with wonderful ambience and (again) great wine!!
Probably my favorite part about the whole trip was when we were leaving there were a couple flamingos in the lobby!!! I'll admit, 4 days isn't enough to really get into the island mindset. I consider the first and last days both travel days so if you come down spend at least 1-2 more days to get the full effect! It's been more than a decade since I've been to Punta Cana but the beautiful beaches, warm and welcoming people and bottomless drinks were all the same.
If you're not picky with food and just want to relax, I recommend staying at one of the many all-inclusive resorts. Alternately, if you want to explore there are tons of Airbnbs to get yourself immersed fully in the culture and the local hot spots!
Flamingos up close are one of the coolest things ever! I would come back to the DR just to hang out with these beautiful pink birds any day!!
As someone who visits Mexico frequently, I'll say that the DR gave my beloved MX a run for it's money. All the lush tropical colors, gorgeous beaches and water and flamingoes may have taken it over the top. Hasta Luego Punta Cana, I'm sure we shall see each other again soon!