Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Little R & R - Punta Cana Style

As I mentioned in my previous post it was time for me to take a little vacation. This year we went to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It is the other half of the island with Haiti.
"The Dominican Republic occupies 48,482 square kilometers, making up the eastern two thirds of the island of Hispaniola , with the country of Haiti comprising the western third. The island of Hispaniola sits more or less in the center of the Caribbean Islands - with the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas to the North, Cuba and Jamaica to the west, Puerto Rico and the Leeward Islands to the east, and South America to the south. The north coast gives way to the Atlantic Ocean and the south coast gives way to the Caribbean Sea."-
After spending a week there I am still convinced it is one of the nicest places I've had the opportunity to visit. I base that feeling not only on the natural beauty but giving high points to the friendly nature of the people I encountered and ease of the trip in general. The accommodations were above average and I really don't have anything negative to say about my overall trip. (other than there were times in the airports I thought it might possibly be simpler and more pleasant to buy a rubber raft and just head south than to deal with the difficulties and general headaches of the airlines).

Our trip started at roughly 4:30AM to get to the airport so we could stand in line to get on a flight at 6AM. We were required to play a round of clothing russian roulette- leaving a cold climate going to a warm climate. And as far as the plane's temperature.......who knows.....could be fit for Satan or an eskimo, and sometimes both within the same wonder people get sick when they travel.

When we arrived in Punta Cana we were not disappointed, yes, between the airport and the hotel we did see examples to remind us of just how fortunate we are. We arrived to the beautiful lobby of the Majestic Elegance Resort and Spa.
View from our balcony
Carlos and Lori

We were greeted by our "butler" Carlos. He was a very sweet young man, whom we later found out has a degree from the University of Wisconsin as well as the university in his country. He took us on a short tour of the property and gave us little tips that would help our stay to be the most enjoyable. He said to call him if we needed anything and he truly meant it. He offered to take us into town by his personal vehicle if needed and he helped the guys arrange a fishing trip. He called to check on us throughout the week and always greeted us by name when we saw him around. We found out that the "butlers" generally have about 25 rooms they tend to at any given time (or at least I think that is what he said). You can even make arrangements for your butler to have your jacuzzi tub filled and ready for you at a certain time - truly they spoil you. I'm sure your stay can be made by the attention of your butler and I think we probably got the best one available.
Random picture of a HUGE snail

Speaking of jacuzzi tubs, each room has one and the rooms were huge. A big 4 poster bed, marble tile floors, balcony, a fully stocked bar (which they refilled with whatever you wanted) a full refrigerator always stocked with soft drinks, beer, and bottled water. There was a separate sitting area and huge closets. They had this nifty little closet that if you ordered room service they would put the trays in the closet and you opened it on your side and took them out. Then when you were done you put the trays back in there, you never had to see anyone.
Our room

We were in the portion of the resort with a private pool (never more than 20 or so people at one time) and NO kids, meaning no loudness, no splashing, no silliness (well except for an occasional drunk), so totally relaxing. We had our own bar and the drinks were all inclusive and actually you never had to leave your poolside or beach chair,  because a happy - and I do mean happy, always smiling, always pleasant attendant would bring you anything you needed. We also had a little lounge area right there, with computers, wifi, snacks, bottled soft drinks and water and fresh towels, anytime we wanted - ALL INCLUDED. The poolside also included what is called a Bali bed. These are outdoor double-sized beds so you can take a nap poolside when you are tired or if you just want out of the sun.
Private pool

Bali bed poolside
Greg using the Bali bed poolside
 I did manage to read 3 James Patterson (my FAVORITE author) books, I took 4 but the last one just did not capture my interest.

The books I read

 I think there were 6 restaurants on the property, a Japanese tepenyaki, an Italian, a french, a steakhouse, a seafood and a buffet. The menus were somewhat limited but usually something could be found to satisfy them  even if they were HYPOTHETICALLY a non-fruit, non-fish eating type person. We found ourselves eating in the buffet restaurant each morning and we had the nicest waiter, Juan, who, even though extremely busy, took time each day to teach me a new word in spanish. I truly looked forward to my omelette and spanish lesson each day.
Lori and Greg

The guys went deep sea fishing one day and "caught" between 6-10 Mahi Mahi. Kim and I walked down to the market (souvenier stands) and I practiced my lame spanish skills to barter for a few trinkets. We also had access to use a Hobie cat whenever, so the guys went sailing a few days.
Greg and Tony on the boat

I loved this trip and would definitely go there again. The resort was excellent, the time of year was great (very good weather and not many people) and the I cannot say enough good things  about any of the people we encountered. I even made friends with a little dog on my way to the market. One day was our anniversary so we had a banner placed on our door wishing us a Happy Anniversary and that night we had a little cake and a hand written note from Carlos wishing us the same. A very nice touch.
Happy Anniversary and it was between mine and Greg's birthday

Our anniversary cake from Carlos

If you have an option to visit here, by all means, do it.

No comments: