Friday, December 14, 2012

Caring for a baby in the Caribbean Hard Rock Punta Cana

Just spent 5 fabulous nights at the Hard Rock All Inclusive Resort & Spa in Punta Cana, Dominican. I was a bit skeptical about an all inclusive as my very first and last (as I thought at the time) was in Cayo Coco, Cuba at the Tryp Resort, which was probably a 4 star disguised as a 1 star. The food was horrible, I don't think I ate more than bread and butter for a week. However, I will say the beaches in Cuba are still some of the best I have seen (comparing to Europe and other beaches in the Caribbean and North America).

Back to the Hard Rock, this felt like a luxury Vegas resort dropped smack down in the middle of the Dominican. The decor and hotel theme was very modern and aligned with their branded hotels and restaurants in the US. It was a nice change from the floral hibiscus feel of most caribbean all inclusive resorts. Below I have quickly reviewed the resort:

Food
There were several great restaurants, from Italian (which was North American style, not really authentic italian), a teppanaki restaurant (I liked this one the most, the sushi and teriyaki was delish), a mexican restaurant (loved the nachos here), a deli that made fresh waffles for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, a caribbean restaurant by the beach (lots of bean dishes), a delicious steakhouse (had really great appetizers here), and a pizza parlour with made-to-order individual pizzas. The breakfast buffet was also a huge hit, and we enjoyed the custom egg station. What I loved about the food situation here is that you were not limited to only using the a la carte restaurants like most all inclusive resorts. You could make reservations for all of them if you wanted for as many times. We also took advantage of a romantic dinner by the pool, which was an additional charge.

Activities
This resort is beyond kid friendly with camp activities, several pools, and a waterpark/lazy river. For adults there's child free pools and lots of tours and excursions that can be booked right from the lobby. The best part of the resort I would say is the Spa, I have never been to a more beautiful resort in my life. From the attendants at the spa, the facility itself (the hydrotherapy experience is a must!), and the beautiful whirlpool. There is even a Vegas like club called ORO which has celebrity deejays visit from time to time if that is your thing!

Staff
Everyone at the resort was super friendly and very helpful. Most were able to speak quite fluent English which made asking questions easy.

Resort Credit
When we booked the Hard Rock for 5 nights with a direct Westjet flight we used Expedia.ca. At the time each room came with a 1500 resort credit. You just need to pay 16% gratuities for the activities you end up booking. We used our credit towards 2 massages at the Spa, I definitely think the best way to use it.

With a baby we spent most of our days by the pools, beach, or in the buffets, and our nights at one of the great a la carte restaurants (and when we had a chance to the Casino). We went with my best friend and her hubby, and one night they even watched our son as we enjoyed a romantic dinner. We would strongly recommend visiting the Hard Rock in Punta Cana if you want a beach vacation with the hassle free advantage of an all inclusive!

Visit http://www.hardrockhotelpuntacana.com/ to get more details or book your next stay!

Pics below:








Thanks,
9to5travelgirl (temporarily matleavetravelgirl)



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