As I mentioned recently, we had an amazing time while in the Dominican Republic for our weeklong honeymoon. I only wish we could’ve stayed longer! I thought I’d share some pictures from the first part of our trip along with some tips if you are thinking of visiting the Dominican Republic. This was fun to think about and remember the gorgeous weather — suffice to say, the weather ain’t gorgeous right now in DC, but that’s okay because it’s Christmas Eve!
We were really blessed and received a three night stay at the Westin Resort in Punta Cana for a wedding present. We decided to use the three nights at the Westin and then move to an all inclusive (the Westin was not). I have to say that while the all inclusive was fun (I’ll share more about it in another post), the Westin was amazing. It was gorgeous, the service was fantastic, and it felt like it was our own private resort. I’ve stayed in very very nice hotels before and this was just a whole different level. It didn’t hurt that we had a HUGE suite (with double sinks – which we don’t have at home and I loved!). I highly recommend the Westin. The food is expensive at the resort, but you can always take day trips! Before I share a few more pictures, here are my tips if you are planning a vacation to the Dominican Republic:
- Brush up on your Spanish. We found that more staff spoke more English at the Westin than our all inclusive, but the staff seemed to really appreciate it when I would use the basic Spanish that I remember from high school / college. My husband doesn’t really speak any Spanish and I think it could’ve been difficult if neither of us spoke it. For example, when we were in a cab, the cab driver almost took us to the wrong location – he didn’t understand English and if I hadn’t spoke Spanish, we DEFINITELY would’ve ended up at the wrong place. I would suggest learning basic greeting phrases and figuring out how to say things like “where is the bathroom”, “how much is __” before you go!
- If you stay at a resort, don’t worry about exchanging money. I was super concerned about this and it was a non issue. If you are going to take a trip into a town, then definitely do so — we thought we’d day trip into Santo Domingo but we ended up not doing so, so I was glad we didn’t exchange our dollars for the Dominican peso.
- Bring bug spray. There are mosquitos – trust me on this one!
- Buy your tourist card before you go. When you arrive in the DR, you’ll have to present a tourist card. They cost $10 and you can buy them online and print them out – each person in your party will need one. If you don’t do this, it’s fine you can do it before you go through customs, but you’ll have to wait in a long line. Because we had purchased ours, it took us less than ten minutes to go through customs. It was awesome.
- Wait until you arrive to book your excursion. Unless you are tied to something, just wait until you are there – you can check out the weather, see what’s going on at your resort and plan accordingly.
Now on the pictures!
The sign that welcomed us to a little slice of heaven on earth:
So our balcony was actually like 3 balconies in one. This is the view from our bedroom. The balcony also wrapped around and gave us a view of the pool.
This is the other side of our balcony – I’m facing the beach but the pool is to my life. Yes, it was amazing.
Another view from the balcony – this time facing the pool:
Sitting on the balcony, drinking my tea, praying and watching this. It was lovely.
Tell me: have you been to the Dominican Republic?