Miles of gorgeous beaches with powdery white sand and brilliant, warm blue water. Top-rated resorts and golf courses. The Dominican Republic has all of these things, but so do other Caribbean islands. What makes the Dominican Republic really stand out for a family beach vacation?
We absolutely fell in love with the Dominican people. From the hotel staff to paddleboarding instructors to drivers, the level of genuine warmth toward tourists is astounding. Friendly people at every turn enhance a vacation experience.
When you are going away for just a week, the length of time it takes to get there makes a difference. The Dominican Republic has seven international airports, and at least two of them have regular flights to/from major U.S. hubs. Even travel from the West Coast felt easy; our trip was long, but only involved one seamless change of planes in Atlanta. Californians don’t go to the Caribbean — we have Hawaii, which is much closer. But I’d go back to the Dominican Republic again in a heartbeat.
The driving distance between the Punta Cana airport and the area’s accommodations, such as Puntacana Resort and Eden Roc Cap Cana, is short. You can rent a car but you don’t really need to, which is also nice perk from a budget and hassle standpoint.
The island has a huge array of accommodation options, from all-inclusive resorts loaded with activities for every age and stage, to a more independent-feeling apart-hotel setup like that we experienced at Sublime Samana.
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We stayed at three properties (Eden Roc Cap Cana, Puntacana Resort and Sublime Samana) in one week. Although that’s extreme, it’s definitely not unreasonable to pair two different Dominican Republic experiences. In fact, I’d recommend this as a way to craft a rich family beach vacation and take advantage of the variety of experiences within a relatively small geographic area.
The extensive resort complexes, such as Puntacana Resort and Cap Cana Resort (home of Eden Roc Cap Cana), offer every possible resort amenity in a clean, beautiful and protected environment. Meanwhile, I loved the lush, rugged landscape of the Dominican Republic’s Atlantic Coast, which has no consequential development at all.
Between the different resorts and home rental options, there’s something in the Dominican Republic for every budget. One thing I really liked about Puntacana Resort is that guests can stay at a more value-oriented property such as the Westin, but still use the top-ranked golf courses and the heavenly Six Senses Spa within the same complex. This lets families prioritize where they want to spend money, yet still easily access amenities at different quality and price points.
Head to the official website for the Dominican Republic for a great overview and more information.
Best family hotels and things to do in the Caribbean with kids on Ciao Bambino
Editor’s Note: The Dominican Republic tourist board provided some financial assistance for our trip. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy.
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