Written by Jean Southwick.
As a Classic Travel Specialist, Apple Vacations invited me to participate in a Fam Trip to Punta Cana. The purpose is to provide the opportunity for travel agents to become “familiar” with the destination including the hotels and learn what it has to offer for our travelers. I inspected and walked the grounds of over fifteen resorts; all of which are all inclusive resorts ranging from a rating of 4 Apple thru 6 Golden Apple. I meet the hotel management, groundoperators, and members of the local tourism bureau in addition to networking with other vendors and travel suppliers. Apple along with their ground operator Amstar has a very strong presence in Punta Cana. Both have representatives at most resorts to assist Apple Vacation customers with excursions or any other assistance they might need.
Punta Cana is known for its glorious sand beaches and friendly, artistic people. In fact, the Bavaro Beach area alone has over 40 miles of spectacular sugar white beaches. Punta Cana has many modern and luxurious resorts and spas. It was helpful to see and learn which resorts catered to adults only, those that offer top notch children’s programs and the resorts that have casinos on property. There are golf courses designed by Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, and Robert Trent Jones; Water sports include sport-fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving.
When planning a vacation to the Dominican Republic it is important to note that the entire country observes Holy Week. Therefore, motorized water sports and some optional excursions are not available Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. Also, many resorts require reservations to dine at their ala carte restaurants.
Amstar provides many optional tours and excursions in addition to the transfers between the charming thatched roof Punta Cana Airport and your resort. The driver and Amstar hosts provide a friendly and efficient service sprinkled with a little humor and education. By the time you get to your hotel you could learn how to prepare their seven types of guineo (bananas) and that the indigenous people are called Taino.
Apple rates their resorts by using 1-6 Apple rating. The highest possible is a 6 Golden Apple. Any resort with a + (plus sign) means they are superior to other hotels with the same rating. Any rating with a Golden Apple instead of a Red Apple means that they have earned an exceptional rating on the Vacation Satisfaction Questionnaires that are completed by Apple Vacationers upon their return home.
Among the resorts included the site inspections were:
|Dreams Palm Beach 6||IFA Villas 4|
|Melia Caribe Tropica 5||Barcelo Doinican Beach 4|
|Dreams Punta Cana 6||Iberostar Punta Cana 5|
|Iberostar Grand 6||Riu Bambu 5|
|Riu Palace Punta Cana 5+||Ocean Blue 5|
|Grand Paradie Bavaro 4||Barcelo Punta Cana 4+|
|Majestic Elegance 5+||Bavaro Princess 5|
|Barcelo Bavaro Palace 5+||Grand Oasis Punta Cana and Bavaro 4|
Call Classic Travel for detailed information on any of these resorts or to book your Punta Cana vacation.
You will find it a beautiful destination and a great value.