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Written by Amber Feldpausch.

This past December, my husband Neil and I were able to travel to the beautiful Dominican Republic. What a pleasant surprise it was. As an agent, I have always referred people to the Dominican Republic because it lies in the Caribbean, it’s warm, and prices are great. But I did always get those occasional clients that were leary to travel to this country. One of the main reasons is that the Dominican Republic is connected to Haiti. Yes, it’s connected to Haiti, but would you know it when you travel there. No.

I’m not sure why people ever question traveling to the Dominican. Of course you’re going to have your poverty, like all countries have. The people and culture are obviously going to be different, but they make the experience even better. The beaches are your typical dream white powdered sand with bright turquoise blue water. Probably the best beaches I’ve seen yet. While traveling down there, I was impressed by the kind smiles and service given to us tourists everywhere. We traveled with Apple Vacations, who has great staff at the airport and the resorts, not to mention the air operator USA 3000 that flies non-stop out of Detroit.

Neil and I stayed at the Iberostar Dominicana, the resort I’ll be escorting a medical alumni group out of Michigan State University to in February. I’ve always been a huge fan of Iberostar resorts, so we were very excited to stay at one at this destination. The Iberostar Dominicana is part of the Iberostar Bavaro Complex, which has the Dominicana, Punta Cana and Bavaro Suites resorts. The Dominicana is nicely located between the other two, giving it more energy. People tend to meet, hang out and eat there. The Punta Cana is a little bit quieter and the Bavaro Suites get its fame from having all Jr. Suite room categories throughout all Iberostars. Staying at the Dominicana gave us privileges at not just our own resort, but the Punta Cana as well. We could use all their facilities including the free meal and drinks. At the Bavaro Suites, we were able to use their beach and pool. When you walk into the Iberostar Dominicana you start out with their friendly staff at the front desk. They were always so happy especially in 90-degree weather and wearing Santa hats. There are water fountains and beautiful landscaping throughout the whole property. They have 6 restaurants to choose from, a snack bar, ice cream stand and five bars. The Iberostar Dominicana also has a Casino and nightly entertainment. Then there is the beach, which is just gorgeous. Out of the places I have visited, there have not been many where you could just walk down the beaches without obstruction. We could have walked for hours along the beautiful turquoise water. They had many water activities. We were able to snorkel off the beach and we did catamaran sailing three times.

Neil and I really enjoyed our stay, and we are quite critical when we travel. I do offer a couple of notes for those that are thinking about venturing to the Dominican Republic. There is a $10.00 departure tax that must be paid when you arrive into Punta Cana’s airport. You will need an adapter for the electrical outlets. I believe they were only 65 cents. There is poverty outside of the resorts, but don’t let that stop you from traveling on some of the excursions the area has to offer. The locals are actually quite kind and thankful for you visiting their country. When we were there, they still had these bumpy old roads and it took about 45 minutes to get to our resort. However, they are building a brand new highway that’s estimated to open in February, cutting the time to the Iberostar Resorts to only 20 minutes. In addition to the beautiful resorts, the country is developing in other ways with construction all along the road for new businesses. And if you are afraid of Haiti, I would suggest taking Meringue dance lessons because the rumor going around the resort is that they will ask you to dance at the airport, and if you can’t, they will transfer you over to Haiti. The Meringue is the Dominican’s dance, and lessons are offered almost everyday at the Iberostar Dominicana.

The Dominican experience was amazing and I can not wait to go back. I am even more excited to send clients there now, because I feel they will be treated with great customer service and accommodations and a beach that compliments it all.