Mr. D is obsessed with the Caribbean and had already visited many of the islands with his family before I came onto the scene, so when we decided on the Caribbean for our first holiday together I had the unenviable task of finding an island that he hadn’t already been to.
Although I admit this wasn’t a necessity and I am more than happy to visit places more than once – in fact I have must have been to Koh Samui at least five times now and it is still one of my favourite holiday destinations – there is something special about experiencing somewhere new together that I wanted to capture on our first holiday as a couple.
So after much research we decided on the Dominican Republic. One of the major influences in this decision was a desire to try out another Hard Rock Hotel after a wonderful holiday at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun a couple of years before.
So what did I make of the Hard Rock Hotel, Punta Cana?
Pre-arrival: The hotel operates a pretty standard booking system that enables you to express room preferences pre-arrival. I made my selections and am glad to report that these were noted and granted on arrival.
Arrival / First Impressions: If I am honest, our hotel experience started at the airport as we had arranged for the hotel to pick us up. I am so glad that we did as it was a bit of a mad rush in arrivals but we easily identified the hotel counter and the driver kindly assisted us to the car with our luggage.
The hotel itself is very impressive with a huge guitar at the entrance and the obligatory quote above the doorway.
The lobby itself is open with the classic hard rock memorabilia displayed throughout.
Check-In: The check in experience was great and very efficient, the hotel was aware of our VIP membership and provided helpful advice on the amenities, restaurants and use of resort credits. We were also given a room upgrade to a partial ocean view suite as a result of our VIP membership.
Wi-fi: The hotel has wi-fi in all areas and it is free to use. We found that in certain parts of the resort it was slow and the connection strength poor but we could always pick it up in the main lobby building absolutely fine.
Pools / Beaches: The hotel has plenty of pools, including an adults-only pool, children’s pool and even a live music pool. There is also a gorgeous beach!
Room Experience: Our room was very spacious and decorated in typical hard rock style, although some of the furniture was not as modern as I would have expected. Our room also had an in-room liquor dispenser, in-room jacuzzi, coffee machine and as the Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana is actually an all-inclusive resort there was also a fully stocked minibar full of complimentary drinks.
I am also pleased to report that the wardrobe was well stocked with hangers and they had usefully positioned power sockets next to the bed (a personal pet peeve of mine!).
The bed itself was extremely large and very comfortable and there was even a pillow and aromatherapy menu in case you needed assistance in falling asleep.
Bathroom: The bathroom was equally as large with a double vanity and double shower. The shower itself was not that fancy but it did the job.
There were plenty of towels provided, lovely bathrobes and slippers and Hard Rock’s own Rock Spa toiletries. The only let down was that the hair-dryer was one of those on the wall ones which take an hour or three to actually dry your hair!
Dining: Where to start! The Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana has loads of a la carte restaurants and we tried to eat in as many as possible and were generally impressed with the standard of the food on offer. Zen is a teppanyaki restaurant and was definitely one of our favourites.
We also chose to use resort credits to go on a romantic candlelight dinner for two that I would definitely recommend. The food was delicious and they had gone out of their way to create a wonderful atmosphere.
Location: The hotel itself is quite far anyway from any of the attractions but the hotel itself runs lots of tours and is more than happy to arrange transportation for guests if requested.
Would I recommend the hotel ? Yes, it is a great resort if you are looking for a relaxing beach break with lots of things to do which involve minimal organisational effort on your part. It is not the place to stay if you want to be in the hustle and bustle of local life.
Would I stay again? Yes, we had an absolute amazing experience and definitely came away with some great memories.
Have you been to the Dominican Republic or stayed in a Hard Rock Hotel?