The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana was an incredible experience. It was the first time either of us experienced an all-inclusive resort, and all we were thinking was “don’t make us leave”. It started from the moment we arrived. A short trip from the airport, you drive up on a beautiful property and are quickly greeted by friendly valet attendants. It couldn’t have been more than 1 minute before we were in the air conditioned lobby with tropical drinks in hand! After an overnight flight, this was a dream. We waited in a short line, spotted a few professional athletes, and took a stroll around the property before heading to our room. It was definitely a short stroll, considering how massive the property is. The Hard Rock Punta Cana boast 13 pools (with swim-up bars), 9 restaurants, 23 bars, a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, a beautiful Rock Spa®, the biggest casino in the Dominican Republic, world class shopping, and over 1700 rooms.
After the warm welcome, opening our door to our Caribbean Suite took the experience to another level. Our room had a big, comfortable bed, a private bath with double showers, free liquor dispensers (an all-inclusive must), free Wi-Fi, a balcony overlooking the ocean and courtyard, and a hydro spa tub! We freaked out over the spa tub. It was so sad that we only had two nights here, because we could have easily spent a whole day just hanging out in our room ordering room service (which is included!!) and bouncing back and forth between the balcony and the hydro spa tub. But we made the most of it. We relaxed in the tub while watching the TV right above it (we don’t have cable at home), and spent one afternoon watching the sunset and smoking cigars on our balcony.
While we only had 2 full days at the resort, we did our best to explore as much as possible. We definitely took in more than 2 full day’s worth of food… we probably ate more like a week’s worth. We ate our 3 dinners at Ipanema, Zen, and Toro. Ipanema is a Brazilian style restaurant where servers walk around with various meats and poultry ready to slice you your choice. Zen is a Teppanyaki style restaurant that specialized in both Chinese and Japanese dishes. While the food was fantastic, we were really here for the show the chef puts on as he creates the meal right in front of you. We enjoyed the family style meal and we made some friends at our table! Lastly, we ate at Toro, their amazing Steak house! At Toro we had some choice cuts of meat and enjoyed incredible views. On top of dining at these 3 restaurants, we may or may not have made a few trips to Pizzeto, their restaurant serving artisanal brick oven-style pizza into the late hours each evening. Please don’t judge us. Even with full bellies each night, we woke up hungry to indulge in breakfast buffets or room service. We tried to avoid lunch so we wouldn’t put on too much weight…
After breakfast or lunch we would explore to try and walk off some of the food. After dinner we would dance. The ORO Nightclub is the ultimate dance party! They had a local DJ that gave us a remarkably authentic Dominican nightclub experience. One night we went to a beach party, where we had some island cocktails and did more dancing. You could describe our trip here as lounging, eating, and dancing. At the end of the night (but also running throughout the day) you can catch one of the trams that will take you all over the resort. This is definitely a plus when you’re ready for bed and your feet can’t handle the walk back.
We spent our days on the beaches and at the pools. The beaches are wide-open with beautiful white sand and warm blue water. It was surprising that with so many rooms, the beaches were very mellow. There were always plenty of open chaise lounges and hammocks for us to nap in. During the day, the beaches were always a relaxing, quiet place to be, while at the pool you could either find a good spot for a drink and a book, or you could get wild in some crazy pool activity. We did a little of both, spending most of our pool time lounging, but then also checking out the foam party and doing some water aerobics to burn some calories. All the pools had bars nearby, and many of the pools had swim-up bars. There was also a water park for kids, where Bobby was disappointed when he heard he was too big for the water slide. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana even has a lazy river, where you can get in an inner tube and float a large loop around the property. Regardless of if we were on the sand, by the pool, or floating the river, the serene vibe and beautiful surroundings demanded we enjoy many naps while at the Hard Rock. Thank you for the relaxation!
With all that we did get to enjoy, we can’t forget to mention some of the amazing amenities we did not have time for (you need at least 5 days here). First of all, they have 9 restaurants and we were only able to get to 4. There are so many incredible cuisine options here, satisfying anything you can imagine. You can go to one of their specialty steakhouses or Asian cuisine like we did, or you can indulge in one of their incredible buffets! There is also an 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus (arguably the greatest golfer of all time). We saw the beautiful course, but did not have time to experience it! For those of you that cannot hit a golf club, there’s also a mini golf course!
You can probably tell that we did not have nearly enough time at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. We ate, drank, danced, and lounged. We didn’t even shop or spend time at the Casino! But we aren’t worried that we missed out, we just know that we need to spend more time here! If you’re interested in having a rockin’ time like we did, check out the website at www.hrhpuntacana.com.
Thank you Hard Rock! We will be back!