We selected Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for our three-generation, all-inclusive beach week, because we thought the youngest generation should have a day of culture and history sandwiched between pool and beach. Santo Domingo is just a three hour drive from the resorts that define Punta Cana. Yes, Columbus slept in Santo Domingo and might be buried there, although Spain argues against that sacrilege.
Where we slept was an important consideration that needed to be balanced by budget. Our “garden view” room at NOW Larimar was in an unspecified location, but as the farthest building looked close enough on the map, we figured we could deal with any “garden view” room. As the van from the airport drove past an outlying hotel building and then on and on to the reception pavilion, my mind ceased its inner soothing tropical music and snarled “bait and switch.”
Yes, we were assigned to what we came to call “the projects.” Despite free golf cart rides to the beach, we knew we had to take the upgrade offer. Our “preferred” room was, literally, steps to the private pool with swim up bar for “preferred” guests, and our balcony had a fine view of the sea. We could enjoy the sea view in a Jacuzzi tub on our porch while other guests, “preferred” one would hope, sauntered by perhaps wondering why we were taking baths in bathing suits.
Rose petals scattered on the beds was an over the top romantic touch for a grandmother, mother, and grandson, but appreciated. Our maid tried to do something artistic with my nightgown, a leftover from Greece. It looked like a melted plastic peony and reminded me I was long overdue for a trip to Paris to buy fetching lingerie–to impress the maids, of course. At my age, the most divine lingerie would not look fetching off the hanger.
The pool, beach, room, and service were exquisite, making for a near perfect beach week that went way over budget. The food was lamentable, but dieting is a virtue and we managed to be virtuous in the buffet line and in the specialty restaurants. But, really, shouldn’t they advertise “food sucks here” so guests can plan for a weight loss week and feel virtuous in advance?
The day trip to Santo Domingo will be covered in a later post. All parents and grandparents should dutifully take the kids there — and warn them in advance so they won’t scream “bait and switch” when you drag them off the beach